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THE NOVELISTS' LIBRARY 
Ctittion be Huxe 

Limited to Five Hundred Numbered Sets 
This Set is Number !.. J.-Ji... 



SGANARELLE. Ves, yes, my child, you shall 
not languish lofig, / promise you. 

L'ECOLK Iii:S MARIS, Act II., Sc. xiv. 
VOL. v., Page 197 



THE PLAYS 
OF MOLIERE 

TRANSLATED BY 

KATHARINE PRESCOTT WORMELEY 

THE SCHOOL FOR WIFES /^"^ ;;;^<^ 

THE SCHOOL FOR HUSBANDS V A„raRV)' 
MONSIEUR DE POURCEAUGNAC'lhK J^ 

VOLUME FIVE 




BOSTON 
LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY 

1909 



Copyiight, 1897, 
By Roberts Brothers. 



All Rights Reserved. 



.t 




CONTENTS 



Pack 

Introductory Notes 7 

L'ficOLE DES FeMMES V] 

(The School for Wives.) 

L'ficoLE DES Maris 147 

(The School for Husbands.) 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac 225 



C j*iij* 




i 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

PXGB 

" Yes, yes, my child, you shall not languish long, 

I promise you " .... Frontispiece 

L'Ecole des Maris, Act II., Sc. xiv. 

" Well, Agnes, you see that I've come back " 

Vignette on Tide 
L'Ecole des Femmes, Act I., Sc. iv. 

" It is my wish that you shall make his words your 

only reading " 77 

L'Ecole des Femmes, Act III., Sc. ii. 

" Messieurs, no force can here be used " . 214 

L'Ecole des Maris, Act III., Sc. vii. 

" Madame, I am his wife " 300 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, Act II., Sc. ix. 




INTRODUCTORY NOTES' 



L'^COLE DES FEMMES was represented 
for the first time at the Palais-Eoyal tlieatre, 
December 26, 1662, on which occasion Moli^re 
obtained once more a dazzling triumph. This 
comedy, says a chronicle of the time, " made 
their Majesties laugh till they held their sides." 
But if admirers were plentiful, detractors 
were not few. They attacked the play in the 
name of good taste, morality, grammar, and, 
what was far more dangerous for the author, in 
the name of religion. Pious persons were of- 
fended; declaring that the scene in which 
Arnolphe attempts to indoctrinate Agnes was 
an " insolent parody of sermons ; the last words 
reproducing almost verbatim the concluding 
benediction of a preacher." Even the Prince de 

1 Chiefly taken from "Notices Hist, et Lit. sur lea 
Comedies de Moli&re," par Charles Louandre. 



8 INTRODUCTORY NOTES 

Conti, Molifere's earliest patron, since become 
a fervent jansenist, says, in a treatise on modern 
comedy, " there is nothing more scandalous than 
the fifth scene of the second act of the ' Ecole 
des Femmes,' which is one of our latest 
comedies." 

Happily for Molifere, Louis XIV. was on the 
side of his defenders, and Boileau, by way of 
compensation for the insults of criticism, ad- 
dressed to him, as a New Year's gift on the 
1st of January, 1663, certain laudatory stanzas 
in which the following well-founded prophecy 
appears : — 

" In vain a thousand jealous mii^s, 
Moliere, dare, with dull coutempt. 
To censure this fine work ; 
Your charming naivete 
Will still go on, from age to age. 
Rejoicing our posterity." 

Opinions are, therefore, much divided ; those 
of Fenelon, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, GeofTroy, 
»nd others of his day being among the most 
severe. " Molifere," says Geoffroy, speaking of 
the " ficole des Femmes, " " has pandered to the 
taste of a period which sought to throw oflf 
the yoke of our ancient severity, and to bring the 
sexes more closely together. Gallantry, polite- 



INTRODUCTORY NOTES 9 

ness, and pleasures were confined to the court 
and tlie principal families of the state. The 
burghers and the people were still in a state 
of semi-barbarism; it was Moliere who gave 
polish to the middle and lower classes ; it was 
he who shook the old tenets of education, those 
props of our ancient morality ; it was he who 
burst the fetters which held each class in the 
dependence of its own state and duty; and 
this impulsion given by him to the tendencies 
of his age contributed largely to his success." 

M. Aime-Martin, who allows no criticism on 
Molifere to pass without endeavoring to refute 
it, declares that those who accuse him of giv- 
ing a graceful tone to vice and a ridiculous and 
odious austerity to virtue have not sufficiently 
understood the play. " It is evident, " he says, 
" that Moliere intended to warn women against 
uniting their fate with that of an egotist. 
Arnolphe has but one object: he desires to 
subjugate youth, innocence, and beauty to the 
caprices of his arbitrary humor. Little ho 
cares about the happiness of his wife ; it is his 
own happiness that concerns him. This it is 
that causes his downfall; we see that all his 
efforts, his precautions, all the wiles of his 
egotism come to naught before the simple 



10 INTRODUCTORY NOTES 

common-sense of a girl. Moli^re is full of such 
teachings, — often un perceived by commentators, 
though they rouse the mirth of ordinary persons 
and make the best minds think. ... In the 
' Ecole des Femmes ' Molifere desired to exhibit 
one of those men aloof from the tastes of youth 
more from natural austerity than from age, who 
yield, nevertheless, to every passion; who mis- 
take the counsels of their own selfishness for 
those of experience, the most fantastic systems 
for the inspirations of wisdom, and who assume 
to change the eternal laws of Nature by subject- 
ing all about them to their own caprices. Such 
is tlie character of Arnolplie. We should here 
remark that the development of this character 
forms the subject and the plot of the play. 
The simplicity of Agnes, the stupidity of the 
servants, the confidences of Horace, the argu- 
ments of Chrysalde are all intended to bring 
forth in full relief the cross-grained temper of 
this singular personage. His ridiculous system 
sets everything in motion ; he alone bears the 
action of the play. Always on the stage 
throughout the five acts, he comes and goes, 
he schemes and scolds, and yet, though plainly 
warned, is quite unable to prevent what hap- 
pens. His conduct is all slyness, deception, 



INTRODUCTORY NOTES 11 

and trickery ; that of Agnes simplicity, naivete, 
and ignorance. He tries to deceive and delude 
her, he exaggerates the benefits he has done 
her, and she simply opposes truth to falsehood ; 
by showing the depths of her own heart she 
punishes her tyrant. That which makes the 
situation so living and the lesson so keen is 
the fact that Arnolphe's schemes serve only 
to produce his defeat. He wanted stupid ser- 
vants, and his are dolts to excess; he wanted 
a fool in Agnes, and she has all the silliness 
of ignorance. She avows with equal simplicity 
her love for Horace, her indifference to Ar- 
nolphe, her desire for marriage, and, finally, 
when about to flee with her lover, ' she sees no 
harm in what she does.' What depth of mean- 
ing in that one line ! It sums up the whole 
play; it justifies Agnes, confounds Arnolphe, 
and begins his punishment, for is she not at 
last precisely what he has sought to make her ? 
... To make every one gather the fruit of 
their own works is the morality of the stage, 
and Moliere never attained that end better than 
in the ' ^^cole des Femmes.' " 

The " :ficole des Maris" was first played in 
June, 1660, one year before Molifere's ill-fated 



12 INTRODUCTORY NOTES 

marriage with Armande Bdjart. Its second 
representation was at a f§te given by Fouquet 
to the Queen of England, Monsieur, the 
king's brother, and his wife, Henrietta of Eng- 
land. All critics are agreed in praising the 
powerful conception, the comic vim, and the 
charming style of this comedy. Moli^re, says 
Monsieur Nisard, one of his leading commen- 
tators, drew his plays from two chief sources: 
first, his own life, by which he touched nearly 
all experiences, for in himself he had a little of 
all natures ; and secondly, his knowledge, which 
put him in possession of whatever had been 
done before him in his art. Dui-iiig his life- 
time he was recognized as Ariste in " L'^cole 
des Maris ; " Ariste, who marries, as he did, 
when elderly, a girl of sixteen, to whom he 
was ever tender and indulgent. The play was 
first given a year before that marriage, and a 
year after it he puts into the mouth of Climene 
in the " Facheux " a vigorous defence of jeal- 
ous}', apologizing thus for his own tendency. 
He used the part of Elmire in " Tartuffe " to 
touch the heart of his wife by the spectacle of 
a woman of honor defending her virtue against 
seduction. To use an expression of his own 
time, Moliere transported his domestic life 



INTRODUCTORY NOTES 13 

into the verities of all his plays. He not 
only shows us the depths of his heart, but he 
selects from its illusions and sufferings those 
which he thinks may benefit us. Boileau char- 
acterized him by a single profound epithet. He 
called him the Contemplator. When Moli^re 
composed his plays he contemplated, observed, 
and represented humanity. But, though the 
passion of his domestic sorrows led him some- 
times to create scenes and situations in which 
ho found a certain solace, the resemblance never 
degenerated into copy; and these paintings of 
his heart express far more the serenity of a 
recovered self than the bitterness of present 
suffering. 

In the midst of the unanimous chorus of 
eulogy bestowed upon the " ]5cole des Maris " 
GeofFroy alone gives utterance to a few words 
of blame upon tbe parts which relate to the 
education of women. " Morality," he says, 
" was much relaxed at the time the piece ap- 
peared. We have only to read Fdnelon on 
the education of girls to know what that prel- 
ate must have thouglit of the amusements 
which Moli^re recommends for the instruction 
of young women. We must therefore conclude 
that the latter did not have on this important 



k 



14 INTRODUCTORY NOTES 

matter the necessary sternness, and that balls, 
fStes, and theatres are not the best school for 
young people. In fact, this comedy is on the 
level of our present morals. Moliere seems to 
have divined the coming change in our ideas ; 
he prepared the way and, so to speak, he called 
for it in this comedy." 

The denouement of " L'ficole des Maris " is 
the best in all Moli^re's plays ; it is probable, 
natural, evolved by the plot itself, and, better 
still, extremely droll. Monsieur Nisard asserts 
that the creation of Sganarelle in this play was 
the creation of the first real man in French 

comedy. 

% 
" Monsieur de Pourceaugnac " was written ex- 
pressly for the king, on the occasion of a fete 
given by Louis XIV. at Chambord. Molifere, 
it seems, did not himself attach importance to 
the play, although Voltaire remarks that several 
of the scenes are worthy to be classed as high 
comedy ; and M. de Sainte-Beuve ranks it, as 
we have seen, * with the " Bourgeois Gentil- 
homme " and the " Malade Imaginaire " as bear- 
ing witness " in the highest degree to Moli6re's 
gushing, blithesome, and spontaneous merri- 
1 Vol. i. page 36. 



INTRODUCTORY NOTES 15 

ment." It seems a little strange that Sainte- 
Beuve should have classed " Monsieur de 
Pourceaugnac " with " Le Bourgeois Gentil- 
homme, " to which his remark so eminently ap- 
plies. No one can read the " Bourgeois " aloud, 
even to himself (so it seems to the translator), 
for the bubbling, incontinent, and pure laughter 
it excites. In comparison, the fun of " Monsieur 
de Pourceaugnac " seems rather vulgar. But 
Sainte-Beuve, that critic of French critics, 
says otherwise, and his opinion is given here. 
Something may be lost to the English mind of 
the latent drollery conveyed to the French mind 
by the name " Monsieur de Pourceaugnac." 
" Mr. de Pigpen " might translate it, but has 
no humor. 





DEDICATION 



TO MADAME 1 

Madame, — 

1 AM the most embarrassed man in the world 
when I have to dedicate a hook. I am so little 
fitted for the style of a dedicatory epistle that I 
know not how T shall he able to acquit myself 
of this. Another author in my place would find 
a hundred charming things to aay to Your Royal 
Highness about this title — " School for Wives " 
— and the ofi'ering which he made of it. But 
as for me, Madame, I must admit ray incapacity. 
I do not know the art of finding a connection 
between two subjects so little in proportion to 
each other, and, notwithstanding the lights my 

1 Henrietta of England, first wife of Monsieur 
(brother of Louis XIV.) aud granddaughter of Henri 
IV. She died in 1670, aged twenty-six. 
VOL. V. — 2 



18 DEDICATION 

brother authors give me daily in these matters, 
I cannot see what Your Royal Highness can 
have to do with the comedy I here present to 
her. There is no difficulty, of course, in know- 
ing how to praise her. Tliat subject, Madame, 
is manifest to the eye. On whichever side we 
see her we find honor upon honor, virtues 
upon virtues. You have them, Madame, by 
rank and birth, so that all the earth respects 
you. You have them also in graces of the mind 
and body, which make you the admired of all 
who see you. You have them in your soul, 
which, if I may venture so to speak, make all 
who have the honor to approach you love you, 
— I mean the gentleness, so, full of charm, by 
which you deign to temper the pride of your 
high station, the obliging kindness, the generous 
affability you show to all. It is particularly for 
these last virtues that I am grateful; and I feel 
that I cannot now keep silence on them. And 
yet, Madame, I know I have not the art to 
place those dazzling virtues upon this page. 
They are things, as I think, of too vast a mean- 
ing, too high a merit, to be compressed into a 
letter and mingled with trifles. 

All things considered, Madame, I see nothing 
for me to do but to simply dedicate to you my 



DEDICATION 



19 



comedy, and to assure you, witli all the respect 
I can possibly express, that I am, Madame, 
Your Royal Highness's 

Very humble, very obedient, 
and very obliged servant, 

MOLI^RE. 





PREFACE 



Many persons have had their fling at this 
comedy ; hut the laughers have taken its part, 
and all the harm that has been said of it has not 
prevented a success with which I am content. 

I know that in this publication I am expected 
to write a preface which shall reply to my cen- 
sors and justify my play. Without doubt, I 
owe enough to the persons who have given it 
their approbation to make me feel obliged to 
defend their judgment against that of others; 
but it so happens that the greater part of what 
I have to say on this subject is already expressed 
in a dissertation which I have written in dia- 
logue, though as yet I do not know what I 
shall do with it. 

The idea of this dialogue or, if some prefer 
to call it so, this little comedy came to me 



22 PREFACE 

after the second or third representation of my 
play. 

I related the idea one evening in a house 
where I happened to be, and a person of quality, 
whose wit is well known to the world and who 
does me the honor to like me,* found the proj- 
ect so much to his taste that he not only urged 
me to take it in hand, but he put his own hand 
to the work; and I was much astonished two 
days later when he showed me the whole thing 
executed in a far more gallant and witty manner 
than I could have done it. But in it I found 
many things too laudatory of me; I was there- 
fore afraid that if I produced the work at our 
theatre I should be accused of having begged 
for the praises given to me. All this prevented 
me, on certain considerations, from completing 
the work I had already begun. Still, so many 
persons have pressed me daily to write it that I 
do not yet know what wUl come of it ; and this 
vmcertainty is the reason why I cannot put into 
this preface what will be found in the " Cri- 
tique," supposing I resolve to have it played. 

1 The AbW dn Bnisson, who was called the " great 
introducer of ruelles," alcove reunions : see note to page 
206, vol. i. The " Critique de I'^fccole des Femmes " is 
in the sixth and last volume of this translated edition. 



PREFACE 



23 



If that should happen, I say again it will be 
only to avenge the public for the over-nice com- 
plaints of certain censors; for myself, I think 
I am avenged enough by the success of my 
comedy. I only wish that all the others I 
make may be treated in the same way, if they 
deserve it. 




L'ECOLE DES FEMMES 

(The School fob Wives) 



IN FIVE ACTS 



PERSONAGES 



Arnoiphe . 

Agnes . . 

Horace 
Alain . . 
Georgette 
Chktsalde 
Enrique . 
Oronte 

A Notary. 



Otherwise called M. de la Souche. 
Innocent young girl, brought up by 

A rnolphe. 
Lover of Agnes. 
Peasant, valet to Arnolphe. 
Servant-woman to Arnolphe. 

Friend ".f fnolphe-^^ CM^^S-'^^ 
Brother-in-law of Anrmpnf^ ^-^ ' 
Father of Horace and great friend of 
Arnolphe. 



The scene is an open square of the town. 




L'ECOLE DES FEMMES 



2[ct iFt'tat 



SCENE FIRST 
Cbbysalde, Abnolphe 



Chrysalde. 

VOU have come back, you say, to give her 

your hand ? 

Aknolphe. 

Yes ; I intend to conclude the matter now. 
Chrysalde. 

Being quite alone, we can speak without 
fear. Will you let me, as a friend, lay open 
my heart? This project of yours makes me 
tremble with dread; no matter in what way 
you turn the affair, tins taking a wife is, for 
you, a rash thing. 



28 L':i;COLE DES FEMMES [Act I 

Arnolphe. 
I shall do so, my friend. Perhaps in your 
case you have reason for fears you bestow upon 
me; your forehead, I think, is expectant of 
horns, — the infallible dower most marriages 
bring. 

Chrtsalde. 

All that is a risk from which none are secure; 
and foolish, I think, are precautions against it. 
No, what I 'm fearing for you is the satire you 
turn on a hundred poor husbands who suffer its 
sting. There are none, great or small, as you 
know very well, who have ever been safe from 
your critical tongue. Your greatest enjoyment, 
wherever you are, is to make an exposure of 
secret intrigues. 

Arnolphe. 

So be it. But is there in all the world an- 
other town where husbands are as patient as in 
this ? Do we not see every species of man put- 
ting up, in their homes, with all kinds of decep- 
tion? One piles up wealth, which his wife is 
distributing to those who are busily giving him 
horns. Another, more happy, but none the less 
infamous, sees the presents that daily are made 
to his spouse, and no jealous thought ever enters 



Scene I] L'feCOLE DES FEMMES 29 

his mind when she tells him, forsooth, they are 
gifts to her virtue ! A third makes a fuss which 
protits him nothing; a fourth, with all sweet- 
ness, lets matters go on, and when the young 
gallant appears at his house takes his cloak and 
his gloves with a cordial smile. Some wives, 
clever females! confide false tales of pressing 
lovers to their faithful lords, who sleep in 
peace on that illusion and pity the poor gal- 
lants for wasting a devotion which is no waste 
at all! Others, to justify their splendor, say 
that they win at cards the sums they spend; 
and their booby husbands, not asking at what 
game they played, give thanks to God for such 
good luck ! In short, there 's everywhere such 
chance for satire, how can I help it if I have to 
laugh ? If men are fools, shall I not — 1 

Chrysalde. 

Yes ; but he who laughs at others must fear 
that in revenge they '11 laugh at him. I hear 
the talk of the world and of those who idly run 
about to tell the things that happen; but, often 
as they divulge their secrets in my presence, I 
never yet was known to spread such gossip. I 
am reserved; and thovigh on some occasions 
I may condemn a husband's tolerance and, in 



30 fiS [Act I 

iny own cu ^r what I see 

others bearinj^ /do not say so 

openly. We sh /fear the rebound 

of satire ; and we cu ( swear in any given 

case what we niiglit do, 6r not do. So if my 
foreliead, by fate which rules us all, should be 
disgraced, I may feel pretty certain that the 
world will be content to laugh in secret; nay, 
I might even have the comfort that some good 
folks would say it was a pity. But as for 
you, my friend, the case is different; and I 
say again, you run a devilish risk. If you 
•would not be jeered at in your turn, you'll 
have to walk erect and straight among these 
husbands, whom for years your tongue has 
lashed until they think you in their hearts a 
devil let loose; for, if you give them but the 
.slightest chance, beware the hue-and-cry they 'II 
raise about you. 

Arnolphe. 

Good heavens! my friend, don't worry about 
that. Adroit indeed would be the man who 'd 
catch me there. I know the artful tricks and 
subtle plots the women use to fool us ; and as 
so many men are duped by their dexterity, I 
have taken sure precautions in my case. The 



Scene I] L'J&COLE DES FEMMES 31 

girl I marry has all the innocence I need to save 
my forehead from malignant influence. 

Chrysalde. 
And do you think a little fool — i 

Abnolphe. 

I wed a fool to he no fool myself. I think, 
as I am bound to do, your better half is virtuous, 
but an able woman is an ominous thing. I 
know the cost to some men of choosing wives 
with talent. What ! saddle myself with a clever 
creature who could talk routs and ruelle, write 
prose and verse, receive the visits of choice 
wits and little marquises; while T, called by 
them all " the husband of madame, " must play 
the part of saint whom no one worships ? No, 
no, I do not want a mind so high ; a wife who 
scribbles verses knows too much. Mine shall 
have less sublime illumination; she shall not 
even know what makes a rhyme, for if she 
plays at crambo she shall answer, when her 
turn comes, " Cream-tarts." In other words, I 
mean that she shall be extremely ignorant. It 
is enough for her if she can pray to God, love 
me, and sew and spin. 



32 L':feCOLE DES FEMMES [Act I 

ClIRTSALDE. 

Well, well! a stupid woman is your hobby, 
is she 1 

Arnolphb. 

So much so I would rather wed an ugly fool 
than take a handsome wife if clever. 

Chrtsalde. 
Mind and beauty — 

Arnolphe. 
Virtue is enough. 

Chrtsalde. 
But how do you expect a fool to know what 
virtue is 1 Besides the weariness, as I conceive, 
of liaving all one's life a fool to live with, think 
you that you are wise to take her, and that the 
safety of your honor can rest upon this theory 1 
A woman of mind may, certainly, betray her 
duty; but at least she does so by deliberate 
choice. A stupid fool may fail in hers without 
desire or even thought of doing so. 

Arnolphe. 

To that fine argument and wise discourse I 
answer, as Pantagruel answered Panurge : Urge 
me to marry other than a fool, preach at me. 



Scene I] L'fiCOLE DES FEMMES 33 

argue on from now till Pentecost, and when 't is 
done you will not have persuaded me one jot. 

Chbtsalde. 
Then I shall say no more. 

Aenolphe. 

f To each his own idea. About a wife, as in 
all else, I mean to follow m^ne. I am rich 
enough to choose a mate who will have nothing 
of her own but all from me; and whose sub- 
mission and complete dependence will not oppose 
her wealtli or birth to mine, f Some time ago I 
saw with other children a child, then four years 
old, whose gentle quiet air inspired me with 
love. Her mother being in the utmost poverty, 
it came into my mind to ask her for her daughter; 
and the good peasant-woman, when she learned 
my wish, was glad enough to lay that burden 
down. In a little convent quite remote from life 
I have brought her up according to my policy ; 
that is to say, I ordered that every means should 
be employed to make her mind as vacant as it 
can be. Success, thank God, has followed this 
design; and now, full grown, she is so simple- 
minded that I bless Heaven for granting what 
I want, — a wife who suits my wishes to a T. 

TOL. v. — 3 



34 L":feCOLE DES FEMMES [Act I 

I have now removed her from the convent; but 
as my dwelling is open to all sorts of persons all 
day long, I keep her in this little house apart, 
where no one comes to see me; and, in order 
not to spoil her natural goodness, I have hired 
servants as simple as herself. Perhaps you ■'11 
say, " Why this narration 1" It is that I may 
show you my precautions ; and I now invite you, 
as my faithful friend, to sup with her to-night. 
I wish you to examine her a little and tell me 
if my choice is one to be condemned. 

Chkysalde. 
I readily consent. 

Abnolphe. 

You will be able at this interview to judge 
not only of her .person but her innocence. 

Chkysalde. 
As for that latter article, what you have told 
me cannot — 

% Arnolphe. 

The truth exceeds my statement. I am forced 
at every turn to admire her simplicity; some- 
times she says a thing at which I die with 
laughter. The other day (if you '11 believe it), 
she seemed to be in trouble, and asked me, with 



Scene I] L'feCOLE DES FEMMES 35 

unequalled innocence, whether the children 
people made came through their ears. 

Chkysalde. 
I am truly glad, Seigneur Amolphe — 

Arnolphe. 
There, there ! why will you always call me 
by that name 1 

Cheysalde. 
In spite of me it comes upon my lips; I can't 
remember Monsieur de la Souche ! But what 
the devil induced you, in your forty-second year, 
to be re-christened, and give yourself a title of 
nobility out of that poor old rotten farm? - ..-^'<i- 

Arnolphe. 
'T is the name of the house. But no matter 
for that, de la Souche to my ears is more pleas- 
ing than Arnolphe. 

Cheysalde. 
What folly to give up the name of your 
fathers and try to take one which is based upon 
fancy! Most people will call it a morbid ca- 
price. I once knew (not meaning to make a 
comparison) a peasant known to all by the name 
of Fat Peter, who owning a quarter of an acre 



^ 



36 L'feCOLE DES FEMMES [Act I 

of land dug a ditch all around it, and called 
himself pompously Lord of the Isle. 

Abnolphb. 
Enough of such cases. De la Souche is the 
name that I hear. I have my own reasons; 
I find it agreeable ; and to call me by any other 
name will simply displease me. 

Chetsalde. 
Most people, I'm thinking, will hardly 
conform; in fact, all your letters I still see 
addressed — 

Arnolphe. 

I bear it from persons not rightly informed; 

but from you — 

Chktsalde. 

Oh ! there 's no need to squabble for that. 
I '11 take care to accustom my mouth to the 
name, and Monsieur de la Souche I will call 
you henceforth. 

Aenolphe. 

Adieu; I shall knock at my door just to 
say how d' ye do and annovmce my return. 

Chbtsalde, aside, as he walks away. 
Faith ! he 's crazy — crazy in every way. 



Scene II] L'feCOLE DES FEMMES 37 

Aenolphe, alone. 
He is a little annoyed at being opposed. 
Strange, with what passion people hold their 
own opinions ! (Baps at the door) Hola ! 



SCENE SECOND 
Abnolfhe ; Alain ; Geobgettb, within the house 

Alain. 
Who is knocking ? 

Aenolphe. 
Open the door. {Aside) There will be great 
joy, I think, at seeing me after my ten days' 
absence. 

Alain. 
Who 's there ? 

Aenolphe. 
I. 

Alain. 
Georgette ! 

Geoegette. 
What? 

Alain, 

Go and open the door. 

Geoegette. 
Go yourself. 



38 L'fiCOLE DBS FEMMES [ActI 

Alain. 
Go you. 

Geoegettb. 

Faith, I '11 not go. 

Alain. 
And I '11 not go, either. 

Arnolphe. 
A pretty state of things, to let me wait out- 
side! Hola! ho! let me in. 

Alain. 
Who knocks 1 

Aenolphb. 
Your master. 

Geoegettb. 
Alain I 

^JLAIN. 

What? 

Geoegettb. 

It is monsieur. Open the door, quick! 

Alain. 
Open it yourself. 

Geoegettb. 
I am blowing the fire. 



SCBNE II] L':feCOLE DES FEMMES 39 

Alain. 
My bird will get out ; I 'm afraid of the oat. 

Ahnolphe. 

Whichever of you two who does not open the 
door first shall have nothing to eat for four 
8. Ha! 

Georgette, to Alain. 
What are you coming for ? I 've come, 

Alain. 
Why you instead of me ? a pretty trick I 

Georgette. 
Get out of my way. 

Alain. 
No, get you out of mine. 

Georgette. 
I must open the door. 

Alain. 
I must open it, I ! 

Georgette. 

No, you sha'n't open it. 

Alain. 
Nor you more than I. 



40 L'tCOLE DES FEMMES [Act I 

Geokgette. 
Nor you, I say no. 

Arnolphe. 
May I keep my soul in patience ! 

Alain, appearing at the door. 
At any rate, 't was I, monsieur. 

Georgette. 
Beg pardon, monsieur, it was I. 

Alain. 
Saving monsieur's presence, I '11 — 

Aknolphe, receiving a blow Alain aims at 
Georgette. 

The devil! 

Alain. 

Excuse me. 

Arnolphe. 

What a dolt he is ! 

Alain. 
It was her fault, monsieur. 

Arnolphe. 
Hold your tongues, both of you. Answer 
when I speak to you, and stop this silly talk. — 
Tell me, Alain, is everybody well 1 



Scene III] L'ifeCOLE DES FEMMES 41 

Alain. 
Monsieur, we— {Arnolphe takes the hat 
from Alain's head) Monsieur, we — {Arnolphe 
takes it off again) Thank God, we — 

Arnolphe, taking off the hat for the third 
time and flinging it on the ground. 
Impertinent fool! who taught you to speak 
in my presence with a hat on your head? 

Alain. 
You are right ; I was wrong. 

Aknolphe, to Alain. 
Tell Agnes to come down. 



SCENE THIKD 
Arnolphe, Georgette 

Arnolphe. 
After my departure was Agnes sad ? 

Georgette. 
Sad? Ko. 

Arnolphe. 

No? 

Georgette. 
Oh, yes, she was. 



42 L'fiCOLE DES FEMMES [Aot I 

Abnolphe. 

Why so? 

Georgette. 

I remember it now. She fancied all the time 
she saw you coming back. Nothing went past 
the house, horse, mule, or donkey, but she took 
it for you. 



SCENE FOURTH 
Abnolphe, Agnes, Alain, Gbokgbttb 

Arnolphe. 
Her work in her hand — an excellent sign! 
Well, Agnes, you see that I 've come back. 
Are you not gladi 

Agnes. 
Yes, monsieur, thank God. 
Abnolphb. 
And I am glad, too, to see you again. You 
have been, I suppose, quite well all the time? 

Agnes. 
Except for the fleas, which plague me at 
night. 



Scene V] VtCOhE DES FEMMES 43 

Arnolphe. 

Ah ! you soon will have some one to chase 
them away. 

Agnes. 
That will be a great pleasure. 

Abnolphe. 
Yes ; I think so too. What is that you are 

sewing ? 

Agnes. 

A frill for myself. Your shirts and your 
nightcaps are finished already. 

Aenolphe. 
Ha, ha ! that is well. Now return to your 
room. You must not feel lonely; I am com- 
ing back soon ; for I 've something important 
to say to you, Agnes. 



SCENE FIETH 

Aknolphe, alone. 
Ah! heroines of the period ! women of parts! 
spouters of tenderness and all fine sentiments ! 
I defy your romances, your verses, your billets- 
doux, your learning, your letters, to match the 
worth of chaste and honest ignorance. 'T is 



44 L':fcCOLE DES FEMMES [Act I 

not the gifts of miud that ought to dazzle us; 
and if our honor is — 



SCENE SIXTH 
Horace, Abkolpbb 

Abnolphe. 
What do I see? Is it? Yes. No, I am 
mistaken. Yes, yes, 't is he himBelf, Horace. 

Horace. 
Seigneur Arnolphe ! 

Abnolphe. 
Ah ! what joy ! Since when are you here 1 

Horace. 
For the last nine days. 

Abnolphe. 
Is it possible ! 

HOBACB. 

I went to your house at once, and heard you 
were gone. 

Abnolphe. 

Yes, to the country. 



ScenbVI] L'i:COLE DES FEMMES 45 

HOBACE. 

For more than ten days. 

Aenolphe. 
Oh, how children grow up in a very few 
years ! 'T is surprising to see him the height 
he is now when I think how I knew him no 
higher than that. 

Horace. 

So you see. 

Arnolphe. 

But tfell me — your father, my dear and good 
friend Oronte, whom 1 love and esteem, where 
is he, and what is he doing 1 Is he still gay as 
ever ? In all that concerns liim he knows I 
take part; though 'tis more than four years 
since we met, and, what is more, since we have 
written to each other. 

Horace. 

He is still, Seigneur Arnolphe, the gayest of 
us all, and he charged me with a letter to give 
to you from him. Since then he has written to 
tell me that he himself is coming ; but the reason 
for this step is still unknown to me. Are you 
aware that one of your fellow-citizens is returning 



46 L':feCOLE DES FEMMES [Act I 

hither with a large fortune, acquired in fourteen 
years spent in America. 

Aknolphb. 
No. Were you told his name ? 

Horace. 
Enrique. 

Aenolphe. 

I do not know him. 

HOKACE. 

My father writes me of his return as though 
he ought to be well known to nie. He says 
that they will come together, on some important 
business which he does not state. 

{Horace gives Arnolphe Oronte's letter.) 

Arnolphe. 
It will be great joy to me to see your father; 
I shall do all that in me lies to entertain him. 
{Reads the letter.) Between such friends these 
compliments are useless ; he might have written 
me nothing and yet myself and all I have would 
be at your disposal. 

Horace. 
I am a man to take friends at their word ; and 
I have instant need of a hundred pistoles. 



Scene VI] L'ECOLE DES FEMMES 47 

Arnolphe. 
Faith, you oblige me truly by thus using me ; 
I am rejoiced to have them in my pocket. Keep 
the purse also. (Gives him a purse.) 

Horace. 

I must — 

Arnolphe. 

No, let us drop the subject. Tell me, what 
think you of our town? 

Horace. 

Numerous in citizens, splendid in buildings, 
and, as I think, marvellous in its amusements. 

Arnolphe. 
Each man takes his pleasure as he likes; but 
those who are dubbed with the title of gallant find 
much to content them, for the women of Paris 
are born to coquette. Dark or fair their humor 
is kind, and their husbands are also the mildest 
on earth. I find a princely pleasure in watch- 
ing such affairs; the tricks I see are like a 
comedy played for my good. Perhaps you have 
already cliosen your lady. Has any such good 
fortune come in your way ? Young men who 
are made like you do better than win money; 
your face is one to entice away wives. 



48 L':feCOLE DES FEMMES [Act I 

Horace. 

Not wishing to hide the truth, I own to a 
love-affair found in this vicinity; friendship 
compels me to tell it to you. 

Abnolphe, aside. 
Good ! another wanton tale to put upon my 

tablets. 

Horace. 

But, I beg of you, pray keep the thing a 

secret. 

Arnolphe. 

Oh I 

Horace. 

On such occasions, as you know, a blurted 
secret often ruins hopes. — Well, I will admit, 
with perfect frankness, that my soul is captive 
to a beauty here. My first attentions met with 
such return that I obtained at once sweet access 
to her presence. And now, without boasting, 
or disloyalty to her, I may say that my prospects 
are most excellent. 

Arnolphe, laughing. 

And the lady is — 

Horace, pointing to Agnes' house. 

A young girl living in that house with the 
red walls you see from here. A simple girl. 



Scene VII L'ifeCOLE DES FEMMES 49 

kept ignorant by the unheard-of error of a man 
who hides lier from all intercourse with life; 
but she, amid that ignorance by which he is 
seeking to enslave her, shows sweet attractions 
capable of charm, a most engaging air, and some- 
thing — I know not what — so tender that no 
heart could e'er withstand it. But it may be 
that you know already this young star of love, 
provided with so many choice attractions. Her 
name is Agnes. 

Aknolphe, aside. 
Ah! I shall burst! 

Horace. 

The man, I think, is De la Zousse, or Source, 
or some such name; I did not pay attention to 
it. Rich, so they tell me ; but as for judgment, 
none; in fact, they talk of him as most absurd. 
Do you not know him ? 

Aknolphe, aside. 
A sorry pill ! 

HoBAGE. 

You do not answer. 

Arnolphe. 
Well, yes, I know him. 

VOL. V. — 4 



50 L'tCOLE DBS FEMMES [Act I 

Horace. 
Crazy, is he noti 

Abnolphe. 
Hey! 

Horace. 

Wliat say you 1 Hey ! Does that mean yes 1 
Jealous, is he, so that all men laugh at him? 
A fool 1 Ah ! I see it is as others told me. Well, 
that most lovable Agnes has enslaved me. 
She 's a sweet treasure, and I 'd count it crimi- 
nal if so rare a beauty were left in the power of 
that fantastic man. As for me, my efforts and 
my tenderest hopes are to make her mine in 
spite of his jealous care; and the money which 
I borrow with such frankness is to bring my 
enterprise to some safe end. You know, even 
better than I, that, whatever our efforts, gold is 
the pass-key that opens all locks. That precious 
metal, which affects all minds, in love as well 
as war, leads on to victory. But you seem 
grieved. Is it that you disapprove the plan I 
have madel 

Arnolphb. 
No, no, I was dreaming. 



ScKKE VII] L'l:COLE DES FEMMES 51 

HORACK. 

This talk has wearied you. Adieu. I shall 
go to your house before long, to thank you, I 
am sure, for my success. 

Arnolphe, thinking himself alone. 
Ah ! must I — 

Horace, returning. 
Once more, I beg you to be discreet. Do not, 
I pray you, let my secret out. 

Arnolphe, thinking himself alone. 
What feelings in my soul ! — 

Horace, returning. 
Above all to my father; who might, perhaps, 
make it a cause for anger. 

Arnolphe, thinking Horace still there. 
Oh! — 



SCENE SEVENTH 

Arnolphe, alone. 
Oh, what tortures I have suffered in this 
interview! No trouble of mind has ever 
equalled this. What imprudence, and what 



52 L'tCOLE DES FEMMES ■ [Act I 

headlong haste in telling this affair to me — my- 
self ! Altliough my name, of course, caused the 
mistake, did ever heedless youtli show so much 
folly 1 But however much I suffered , I was 
forced to control myself, that I might know 
exactly what I had to fear. I heard to the end 
his thoughtless gabble to learn their secret com- 
merce to its full extent. I'll follow him; he 
cannot have gone far, I think. 'T is best to gain 
his confidence completely as to these facts. I 
tremble for the evil that may come of them ; for 
often we seek more than we desire to find. 



END OF FIRST ACT. 



Scene I] L':£C0LE DES FEMMES 53 



act Setonb 

SCENE FIRST 

Abnolphe, alone. 

When I reflect upon it, 't is doubtless for the 
best that I have wasted my steps aud missed 
finding his traces; tlie imperative trouble which 
fills my heart could not have been hidden 
wholly from his eyes; his presence must have 
forced out the anger that consumes me, and I 
do not desire he should know it as yet. — But 
I 'm not a man to lick up his crumbs, and 
leave the field open to a puppy like him! I 
shall break up his scheme without further 
delay, and learn to what point the relations 
between them have ventured to go. My honor 
is concerned in a notable way ; I regard her as 
a wife on the terms we are now; all she does 
is for my sake, and to fail in her duty is to cast 
shame on me. Ah ! fatal departure ! unfortu- 
nate journey! 

(He raps at his door.) 



54 L'tCOLE DES FEMMES [Act U 

SCENE SECOND 
Abkolpbe, Alaik, Georoettb 

Alain. 
There ! monsieur, this time — 

Arnolphe. 
Silence! Here, both of you. Stand there, 
I say. 

Georgette. 
Oh I you scare me ; my blood 's curdling. 

Abnolphe. 
So this is the way you obey me when absent ? 
You have laid your heads together, both of you, 
to betray me. 

Georgette, dropping on her knees. 
Oh! monsieur, oh! don't eat me up alive, I 
implore you. 

Alain, aside. 
Some mad dog has bit him, I 'm certain of 
that. 

Arnolphe, aside. 
Ouf ! I cannot speak, so angry am I. I 
suffocate; would I could tear my clothes off 
and go naked ! (To Alain and Georgette) 



ScineII] L'fiCOLE DES FEMMES 55 

You have allowed, you cursed scum, a man 
to come here! (Jb Alain, who tries to run 
away) You want to escape me, do you? 
Tell me at once — {To Georgette) If you stir, 
I'll — Now, I say, you must tell me — {To 
Alain and Georgette, who are both trying to 
escape) The first of you that stirs, by Death ! 
I '11 strike you down. How did that man get 
into my house 1 Speak ! make haste ! quick ! 
hurry ! No gaping now. Tell me, I say. 

Alain and Geokgettb. 
Ale! aie! 

Georgette, falling at Arnolphe's feet. 
My heart 's stopping ! 

Alain, falling at Arnolphe's feet. 
1 'm dying ! 

Aknolphe, aside. 
I 'm wringing wet — let me get breath — I 
must have air, and walk about — Could I 
have guessed, when I first knew him, that small 
boy ! that he would grow for this ? — Heavens I 
how my heart beats! Had I not better from 
his own lips, gently, draw out the truth 1 I '11 
try to moderate my anger. Patience, my heart, 
go softly, softly. (To Alain and Georgette) 



56 L':feCOLE DES FEMMES [Ac? II 

Get up; go in; tell Agnes to come down. 
No, stop. (Aside) Her surprise would be 
less; I could not take her unawares if they 
should warn her ; I '11 go myself and bring 
her down. (To Alain and Georgette) Wait 
here. 



SCENE THIRD 
Al^in, Georgette 

Georgette. 

Heavens! isn't he terrible? His looks do 
frighten me with an awful fright; never did 
I see such a hideous mortal. 

Alain. 
That monsieur vexes him ; did n't I tell you 
so? 

Geobgette. 

But why the deuce does he make us keep our 
mistress in the house in this harsh way 1 Why 
does he want to hide her from all the world, 
and never let a single soul come near her t 

Alain. 
Because if they do it makes him jealous. 



Scene III] L':feCOLE DES FEMMES 57 

Georgette. 
But what 's the reason he has taken that 
notion ? 

Alain. 
The reason — well, the reason is he 's jealous. 

Georgette. 

Yes, but wh]/ is he jealous ? why does he get 
so angry ? 

Alain. 

Because jealousy — (now you listen to what 
I say. Georgette) jealousy is a thing — there, 
you know — makes people uneasy, drives folks 
away from corning round the house. I '11 give 
you an instance, so you '11 understand the thing. 
Tell me, is n't it true that if you had your broth 
and a hungry man wanted to eat it up, you 'd get 
angry and drive him off? 

Georgette. 
Yes, I understand all that. 

Alain. 
Well, this is just the same thing. A woman 
is, you may say, a man's broth; and when a 
man sees other men wanting to stick their 
fingers in his pot, he gets angry. 



58 L'fiCOLE DES FEMMES [Act U 

Georgette. 

Well, if that's so why dou't they all do 
alike t I am sure we see plenty who are very 
well pleased when their wives are with beaux. 

Alain. 
That 's because every one is n't so greedy as to 
want to keep all for himself. 

Georgette. 
Unless my eyes deceive me, I see him coming 
back. 

Alain. 

Tour eyes are right ; 'tis he. 

Georgette. 
How vexed he looks ! 

Alain. 
Something has worried him. 



SCENE FOURTH 
Arnolphk, Alain, Georgette 

Aknolphe, aside. 
A certain Greek told the Emperor Augustus, 
as a piece of useful information, that when some 



Scene VI] L'feCOLE DBS FEMMES 59 

incident had put liini in a rage it was well to 
say the alphabet, in order that his bile might 
have time to subside and he himself do nothing 
he ought not to do. I practised that lesson 
just now upon Agnes; and I shall take her 
out, on pretence of a walk, to let the doubts of 
my sick mind approach the matter cautiously, 
and, by sounding her heart gently, gain the 
light they seek. 



SCENE FIFTH 
Aenolphb, Agnes, Alain, Geohgbttb 
Abnolphe. 
Come, Agnes. (To Alain and Georgette) 
Keturn to the house. 



SCENE SIXTH 
Aenolphe, Agnes 

Arnolphe. 
A walk is pleasant. 

Agnes. 

Very pleasant. 

Aenolphe. 
The day is charming. 



60 L'ilCOLE DES FEMMES [Act U 

Agnes. 
Very charming. 

Arnolphb. 

What is the news 1 

Agnes. 
The kitten is dead. 

Arnolphb. 

That's a pity; however, we are all of us 
mortal, and each for himself. When I was in 
the country, did it rain about here 1 

Agnes 

No. 

Arnolphe. 

Were you dull 1 

Agnes 

I am never dull. 

Arnolphe. * 

What were you doing those nine or ten days 1 

Agnes. 
Making six shirts, and six night-caps, I 
think. 



ScKNii VI] L'feCOLE DES FEMMES 61 

Abnolphe, after some reflection. 
The world, dear Agnes, is a very strange 
thing. Consider its gossip, and how people talk I 
Some neighbors have told me that an unknown 
young man has been seen, in my absence, to 
enter this house ; and that you yourself saw him 
and allowed him to talk to you. But I would 
not put faith in their mischievous tongues, and 
I offered to bet that they falsely — 

Agnes. 

Oh! goodness, don't bet, you will certainly 

lose. 

Arnolphe. 

What ! is it true that a man — 

Agnes. 

Quite true, I assure you; he scarce stirred 

from the house. 

Arnolphe, aside in a low voice. 
This confession — made with such sincerity 
— shows, at least, that she 's ingenuous. {Aloud) 
But, Agnes, it seems to me, if I remember right, 
that I forbade you to see any one. 

Agnes. 
Yes; but you don't know how it was I saw 
him. You would have done the same, no doubt, 
as I. 



62 L'iCOLE DES FESIMES [Act 11 

Arnolphe. 
Perhaps. But tell me the story of how it 
happened. 

Agnes. 
It is quite surprising, and difficult to believe. 
I was on the balcony, sewing where it was cool, 
when I saw, passing under the trees near by, a 
very well-made young man, who, catching my 
eye, made me at once a very humble bow. I, 
not to be lacking in civility, made him a bow 
myself; then he made me another, which I 
returned at once ; then he a third, and I a third 
as quickly. He passed along, came back, and 
passed again, and each time made me a new 
bow. I, who watched his movements fixedly, 
returned them all ; and should have done so 
longer if it had not grown dark rather than let 
him think I was less civil than he. 

Arnolphe. 
Well? 

Agnes. 

The next day, being at the door, an elderly 
woman came tome and said' — something like 
this : " My child, may the good God bless you, 
and preserve your pretty looks. He has not 
made you such a handsome girl that you should 



Scene VI] L'ifeCOLE DES FEMMES 63 

make an ill use of his gifts ; and you must know 
that you have wounded one who now is forced 
to make complaint. " 

Aknolphe, aside. 
Ha ! tool of Satan ! Execrable fiend I 

Agnes. 

" I ! wounded any one ! " I said, amazed. 
" Yes," said she, " wounded, and wounded deeply. 
It is the man wliom you saw yesterday beneath 
your balcony." " Alas! " I said, " how could I 
have done that 1 did I let something fall upon his 
head?" "No," she replied, "your eyes have 
given this fatal blow ; it is their glance that did 
the harm." " Heavens ! " I cried, " this is 
surprising. Have my eyes some evil in them 
whicli they cast on others ? " " Yes, " she re- 
plied, " your eyes possess a poison that you 
know not of, which made this wound. In short, 
he languishes, poor miserable man, and if," the 
charitable soul went on, " your cruelty refuses 
him relief, in a few days they '11 take him to his 
grave." " Good God! " I said, " how I should 
grieve for that ! What is it I must do to better 
him 1 " " ^ry child, " she said, " all that he asks 
is to come here and see and talk with you. 



64 L'^COLE DES FEMMES [Act II 

Your eyes alone can remedy his trouble and be 
the medicine for the ill they 've done. " 

Arnolphe, aside. 

Ha ! you damned witch ! you poisoner of 
souls ! may hell reward your charitable plots I 

Agnes. 

That 's how he came to see me and was cured. 
Do you not think yourself that I did right 1 
Could I have had the conscience to let him die 
for want of such assistance, — I who am pitiful 
when others suffer, and cry to see them wring 
the chickens' necks? 

Aenolphe, aside. 

All this must surely come from innocence of 
heart. I blame my lamentable absence, which 
left without a guide such ignorant goodness 
exposed to all the wiles of these seducers. I 
fear the villain with his lying vows has pushed 
his purpose farther than mere words. 

Agnes. 

What is the matter? It seems to me that 
you are scolding just a little. Is there any harm 
in what I 've told you 1 



ScbneVI] L'6C0LE DES FEMMES G5 

Aknolphe. 

No. But tell me all that followed, and how 
the young man paid his visits. 
Agnes. 

Ah ! if you only knew how glad he was to 
come, and how his ills were cured the moment 
that he saw me, and the beauteous casket that 
he brought me, and the money that he gave to 
Alain and Georgette, you would love him, I 
know, and say with us — 

Aknolphe. 

Yes, yes; but tell me what he did when 
quite alone with you. 

Agnes. 

He said he loved me with incomparable love. 
Oh, he says the prettiest words in all the 
world, and things that nothing, I am sure, can 
equal; for every time I hear him say them I 
feel a gentle tingling, and something stirs with- 
in me, I don't know what. 

Aknolphe, aside. 
Ah! cruel search into a fatal mystery in 
which the seeker suffers all the pain. {Aloud) 
Well, besides this talk and all this prettiness, 
did he not make -you some caresses ? 

VOL. v. — 5 



66 L'fiCOLE DES FEMMES [Act U 

Agnes. 
Oh, yes, many ! He took my hands and arms, 
and never tired of kissing them. 

Abnolphe. 
Agnes, did he take nothing else ? (^Seeing 
her confusion) Ouf ! 

Agnes. 



Yes, he — 
What? 
Took — 
Hal 

The — the - 
Go on. 



Abnolphe. 

Agnes. 
Abnolphe. 

Agnes. 
Abnolphe. 



Agnes. 
I dare not ; you '11 be angry with me. 

AenolJhe. 

No. 

Agnes. 

Yes, you will. 

Abnolphe. 

Good God! no. 



Scene VI] L':fcCOLE DES FEMMES 67 

Agnes. 
Swear it, on your faith. 

Abnolphe. 
By my faith, no. 

Agnes. 
He took — oh, but you will be angry } 

Abnolphe. 
No. 

Agnes. 
Yes. 

Abnolphe. 

No, no, no, no. The devil! what's this 
mystery? What did he take? 

Agnes. 
He — 

Abnolphe, aside. 

I suifer the tortures of the damned. 

Agnes. 
He took the — ribbon that you gave me; 
to tell the truth, I was not able to prevent it. 

Abnolphe, drawing a deep breath. 
Never mind the ribbon. But I wish to know 
what more he did to you than kiss your arms. 



68 L'feCOLE DES FEMMES [Act H 

Agnes. 
How ? what more do people do t 

Aenolphe. 
Oh, nothing. But to cure the ilk he said 
possessed him, did he ask you for no other 
remedy ? 

Agnes. 

No ; but if he had, you may be sure to cure 
him I'd have granted all. 

Abnolphe, aside. 
Thanks to heaven's mercy I am safe this 
time ; and if I ever fall again into such danger, 
I give them leave to wrong me. But hush! 
(Aloud) Your innocence, Agnes, had its just 
effect. I shall say no more; what is done is 
done. I know that in thus flattering you this 
gallant meant to wrong you first and then to 
laugh at you — 

Agnes. 
Oh, never, not at all; he told me so a score 
of times. 

Aenolphe. 

Ah ! you do not know tlie meaning of such 
pledges. But this I must teach you : to accept 
handsome caskets, to give ear to the nonsense 



ScbneVI] L'feCOLE DES FEMMES 69 

of these fine gentlemen, and to let them kiss 
your hands and tingle your heart, is a mortal 
sin, and the worst you could commit. 

Agnes. 
A sin, do you say ] for mercy's sake, why t 

Arnolphe. 
Because it is decreed such actions anger 
God. 

Agnes. 
Anger him ! But why should he he angry 1 
it is so pleasing and so sweet a thing! I love 
the joy it gives me, for I knew nothing until 
now of what it was. 

Arnolphe. 

Yes, such tendernesses, such pretty words and 
soft caresses, are indeed great pleasures ; hut we 
must take them honorably; marriage removes 
the crime. 

Agnes. 

Then it is not a sin if we are married 1 

Arnolphe. 

.No. 

Agnes. 

Please marry me at once, T beg of you. 



70 L':fcCOLE DES FEMMES [Act H 

Abnolphe. 

If you wish that, I wish it too ; in fact, I have 

come back to marry you. 

Agnes. 

How glad I '11 be ! 

Abnolphe. 

Yes ; I have no doubt myself that marriage 

will please you. 

Agnes. 

And you wish us — both of us — 

Aknolphb. 

Assuredly I do. 

Agnes. 

Ah ! if that happens, how I will caress you! 

Aenolphe. 
Ha ! and on my part it will be reciprocal. 

Agnes. 
But I never know, myself, when people are 
joking. Are you in earnest? 
Abnolphe. 
Yes ; can you not see it 1 
Agnes. 
We shall be married 1 • 

Abnolphe. 
Yes. 



ScBNK VI] L'ilCOLE DES FEMMES 71 

Agnes. 
But when ? 

Arnolphe. 
To-night. 

Agnes, smiling. 
To-night ? 

Aenolphe. 

To-night — it makes you smile. 

Agnes. 
Yes. 

Abnolphe. 

To see you pleased is what I wish. 
Agnes. 

Ah ! how grateful I shall be to you ! I know 
that with him I shall surely be happy. 

Arnolphe. 

"With whom ? 

Agnes. 

With — there! 

Arnolphe. 

There ! — There is not my intention. You 
are far too much in haste to choose a husband. 
'T is another whom I have ready for you ; and 
as for Monsieur There, I intend, if you please, 
to bury the mischief he has put in your head 
and stop for the future all commerce between 



72 L':feCOLB DBS FEMMES [Act II 

you. When lie calls at this house to pay you 
a visit, you will order the door to be shut in 
his face ; and if he still knocks you will fling, 
through the window, a stone to inform him he 
is not to return. Do you hear what I say 1 I 
shall hide in a corner and watch your behavior. 

Agnes. 
Oh, la, la ! he 's so handsome ; and — 

Aknolphe. 
What language is that ! 

Agnes. 
I shall not have the heart — 

ARNOLPrfE. 

No more of this fuss. Go up to your room. 

Agnes. 
But why ? do you mean — 1 

Aknolphe. 
Enough ! I 'm your master ; when I speak, 
you '11 obey. 

END OP SECOND ACT. 



Scene I] L'ifeCOLE DES FEMMES 73 



art 5Cf)ttl> 

SCENE FIRST 
Abnolphe, Agnes, Alain, Georgette 

Abnolphe. 

Yes, all has gone right; my joy is extreme; 
you have followed my orders remarkably ■well. 
At all points the seducer is foiled; and you now 
see the use of a head to direct. Your innocence, 
Agnes, was being deceived. Look where you 
were thoughtlessly going — on the broad road 
to hell and eternal damnation ! The morals of 
these fops are known to all; they wear fine 
breeches, ribbons, plumes ; they sport long hair, 
white teeth, and make sweet speeches, but, as 
I told you, claws are underneath. They are 
veritable Satans, and their hungry jaws seek 
women's virtue for their prey. But, thanks to 
my command, you have escaped with honor. 
The air with which I saw you throw that stone 
which knocked his daring hopes to earth, con- 
firms my will not to delay our wedding, for 
which I bid you now prepare. But, first of 



74 L']feCOLE DES FEMMES [Act III 

all, 't is right that I should give you a little 
lesson as to marriage which will be salutary for 
you. (To Alain and Georgette) Bring me a 
seat out here. If either of you ever — 

Georgette. 
"We shall remember monsieur's lessons. That 
other gentleman imposed upon us; but — 

Alain. 

If he gets in again, may I never drink another 
drop ! Besides which he 's a cheat ; did n't he 
give us the other day two coins that were n't 
full weight? 

Aknolphb. 

Prepare for supper the dishes I prefer ; and 
for the marriage-contract, as I said just now, 
go, one or other of you, for the notary who 
lodges at the corner of this square. 



SCENE SECOND 
Ahnolphe, Agnes 



Arnolphe, seated. 
Agnes, lay down your work, and listen to me. 
Lift up your head, and turn your face this way. 
(Putting his finger on his forehead) There, 



Scene II] L'ifeCOLK DES FEMMES 75 

look at me during this interview; impress upon 
your mind my lightest word. ' I marry you, 
Agnes ; and you ought, a hundred times a day, 
to hless the luck of such a destiny. Remember- 
ing the lowness of your birth, you should admire 
my goodness, which, from the vile condition of 
a village girl, has raised you to the station of an 
honorable bourgeoise, where you will enjoy the 
couch and the embraces of a man who hitherto 
has fied such ties — though to a score of women 
most capable of pleasing he has refused the honor 
he now bestows on you. You ought, I say, to 
keep before your eyes the humble place you 
hold without this splendid tie, in order that 
you may strive the more to merit the state of 
life to which I lift you, and, knowing what 
you were, act so that I be satisfied with what 
I do. Marriage is not a jest. The rank of 
wife involves stern duties; you are not, I must 
inform you, raised so high for libertine amuse- 
ments and to take your pleasure. Your sex is 
here to be dependent ; power is with the beard ; 
although there are two sexes, two portions of 
society, those portions are not equal. One is 
supreme, the other is subordinate ; one is, in all 
things, subject to the other, who governs. The 
soldier, trained to duty, obeys his ^eade^, the 



76 L':feCOLE DES FEMMES [Act lU 

valet obeys his master, tlio child its parents, 
the little boy his elder brother, but the obe- 
dience of them all does not approach the docile 
submissiveness, the humble and profound respect 
a wife must show her husband, her head, her 
lord, her master. When he casts a serious glance 
upon her, her duty is to drop her eyes and not to 
dare to look him in the face, unless, with a soft 
glance, he suffers it. This is a rule the women 
of these days neglect ; but do not you be spoiled 
by such examples. Abstain from imitating vile 
coquettes whose capers ring throughout the town. 
Beware lest you be taken in the snares of Satan ; 
that is, you must not listen to any fine young 
spark. Remember that in making you the half 
of my own person, Agnes, I place my honor in 
your keeping. That honor is a tender thing; 
a very little wounds it; on such a subject there 
must be no foolery. Hell has a boiling caldron 
in which are plunged forever ill-conducted 
wives. What I am telling you is no mere idle 
tale, and you must lay to heart these lessons. 
If your soul follows them and shuns all coque- 
try, it will be, like a lily, white and pure; 
but if it makes one false step as to honor, it will 
be black as coal. You then will seem to all a 
hideous object; and you will some day go, the 



ARNOLPHE. Jt is my wix/i that you shall 
make his ivords your only reading. 

L'ECOLE ril<i KKMMES, Act HI., ,Sc. ii. 

VOL. v., Page 77 



i 



SoESE II] L'fiCOLE DES FEMMES 77 

devil's prey, to boil in hell to all eternity. God 
keep you from it in his heavenly mercy ! Make 
your courtesy — Now, as a novice learns her 
rules by heart on entering a convent, so you on 
entering marriage must do likewise. Here, in 
my pocket, is a useful treatise which will instruct 
you on the duties of a wife. I do not know the 
author; he must be some worthy soul, and it is 
my wish that you shall make his words your 
only reading. (Rises.) Take it; and let me 
hear if you can read it properly. 

Agnes, reading aloud. 
The Maxims of Marbiagk 

OR 

The Duties of a Married Woman, with a 
Daily Exercise therein. 

First Maxim. 

She who by virtuous tie 

Enters a husband's bed. 

Must fix it in her mind 

That the man who takes her, takes her for himself. 

Abnolphe. 

I '11 explain to you later the meaning of that ; 
at present you need only read the words. 



78 L'iCOLE DES FEMMES [Act lU 

Agnes, reading. 

Second Maxim. 

She must adorn her person 

As much, and no more, 
As the man who possesses her wishes; 
He alone is concerned in the care of her beauty, 

And it is of no consequence 

If others consider her ugly. 

Third Maxim. 
Forbidden all study of glances. 
All washes, all paints, all pomades, 
And the thousand ingredients that make the skin 

bloom ; 
Such things are to virtue like poisonous drugs. 
These cares for the person 
To make it seem beautiful 
Are taken too seldom for husbands. 

Fourth Maxim. 

When a wife walks abroad, her honor commands 

That the glance of her eyes be concealed by a hood ; 

For to please her spouse well 

She must please no one else. 

Fifth Maxim. 
Excepting those persons who visit the husband. 
Good behavior forbids 
The wife to receive a soul ; 
Those whose gallant humor 
Cares only for madame 
Do not suit monsieur. 



Scene II] L'ifcCOLE DES FEMMES 79 

Sixth Maxim. 

She must refuse 
All presents from men, 
Because in these days 
Nothing is given for nothing. 

Seventh Maxim. 

In her apartments, no matter if she die of dulness, 
There must be neither inlistand, ink, nor pens, nor 

paper ; 
The husband should, according to good customs. 
Write all that must be written in his house. 

Eighth Maxim. 

Those disorderly social routs, 

So-called Assemblies, 
Corrupt the minds of women daily ; 
Good policy demands they be suppressed ; 

'T is there conspiracies are hatched 

Against poor husbands. 

Ninth Maxim. 

AU women who to virtue vow themselves, 
Must forswear cards 
As fatal snares ; 
For gambling, most insidious, 
Often leads a wife 
To stake her all. 

Tenth Maxim. 

Excursions in fine weather. 
Repast'^ given iti the fields, 



80 L':fcCOLE DES FEMMES [Act III 

The wife must not accept ; 
For prudent brains declare 
That husbands for these jaunts 
Are those that pay. 

Eleventh Maxim — 

Aenolphb. 
Tou can read the rest alone; and, step by 
step, as we go on, I will explain those maxims 
to you. I have just remembered a small matter 
I must attend to. Go in ; and keep that little 
book most preciously. If the notary comes, let 
him wait till I return. 



SCENE THIRD 

Aenolphe, alone. 
I cannot do better than make her my wife. I 
can turn that soul every way that I wish. She 's 
like wax in my hands, and will take any form 
it may please me to give her. How nearly 
inveigled she was through her innocence ! But 
't is better, in truth, that the woman one mar- 
ries should err on that side ; the cure of such 
error is easy enough. A creattire so simple is 
docile to lessons, and if for a moment she wan- 
ders astray, two words will suffice to recall her. 



ScbnbIII] L'fiCOLE DES FEMMES 81 

But those women of parts are different animals ! 
Our fate depends upon their heads, and what 
they once take into those no man can get out. 
Their wit is used to ridicule our maxims, and 
often to make virtues of their crimes ; they 
find, to reach their guilty ends, all sorts of 
tricks tliat dupe the ablest men. To ward 
them off is wasted toil; a clever woman is a 
devil in wiles ; and if her whims should doom 
our honor, we must submit and let her have 
her way. Many a worthy man, alas! knows 
that. But my young fop will have no chance 
to laugh ; his chattering tongue has brought 
him his deserts. That is the common fault of 
Frenchmen ; when they possess a love-affair, 
the secret always burns witliin them, and silly 
vanity has sucli attractions they 'd rather lose 
their lives than hold their tongues. Oh ! how 
the women are tempted of the devil when they 
go and choose such scatter-wits as these ! and — 
But here he is. I '11 hide my feelings well, and 
so discover how his defeat affects him. 



VOL. v. — 6 



82 L':feCOLE DES FEMMES [Act lU 

SCENE FOURTH 
Horace, Abnolfhe 

HOBACE. 

I have just left your house ; fate seems to say 
it has decreed that I shall never find you ; but 
I mean to go so often that at last — 

Arnolphe. 

A truce to compliments ; nothing annoys me 
more than ceremony, and if I had my way it 
should be banished; these visits are a cursed 
custom on which two-thirds of people's time is 
wasted. Put on your hat. {Puts on his 
own.) Well, about your love-afifair? May I 
know. Seigneur Horace, how that is coming 
on? When you spoke to me lately my 
thoughts were much distracted. Since then I 
have reflected. I admire the rapidity with 
which you proceed, and in the result my mind 
takes an interest. 

Horace. 

Alas! since I showed you the state of my 
heart ill-luck has attended my love. 

Arnolphe. 
Ho, ho ! how is that t 



ScenbIV] L'i;COLE DES FEMMES 83 

Horace. 
Cruel fortune has brought home the guardian 
of Agnes. 

Arnolphb. 

A misfortune, indeed! 

Horace. 

Yes, and what 's more, to my bitter regret 
he has heard of our secret relations. 

Arnolphe. 
How the deuce did he hear it so soon 1 

Horace. 
I don't know; but the thing is certain. I 
went, at my usual hour, to pay my little visit 
to her sweet attractions, when, changing totally 
in voice and visage, the valet and the maid both 
barred my way. "Be off," they said, "you 
trouble us ; " and then they rudely slammed 
the door. 

Arnolphe. 

They slammed the door t 

Horace. 

Yes, in my face. 

Arnolphe. 
Well, that was rather strong. 



84 L'ilCOLE DES FEMMES [Act HI 

Horace. 
I tried to argue through the panels, but to 
all I said they answered: "You can't come in; 
Monsieur forbids it." 

Arnolphe. 
They did not let you enter ] 

Horace. 
No. Then Agnes from the window con- 
firmed the fact of his return, and, telling me in 
haughty tones to go away, she flung a stone to 
emphasize her words. 

Arnolphe. 
What ! a stone ? 

Horace. 
A stone — and not a small one either — cast 
by her hand, greeted my visit. 

Arnolphe. 
The devil ! stones are not plums. This is 
a grievous state of things. 

Horace. 
True ; this return is fatally unlucky. 

Arnolphe. 
I 'm sorry for you — I protest I am. 



\ 



\, » 



\ 



\ 



Scene IV] L':6C0LE DES FEMMES 85 

Horace. 
That man stops everything. 
Aenolphe. 
Yes, for a time ; but you will find some other 
■way to come together. 

Horace. 
I shall try by some wise means to get the 
better of his jealous vigilance. 

Arnolphb. 
To you that must be easy; and the girl? 
you say she loves you? 

Horace. 
Oh, assuredly. 

Arnolphb. 
Then you must succeed. 

Horace. 
I hope to 

Abnolphe. 

But that stone that routed you? Did not 
that surprise you? 

Horace. 

Of course it did. At first I thought the man 

himself was there, and, hidden from sight, was 

prompting what she did. But what surprised 

me more, as it will you, was something else, 



86 L':feCOLE DES FEMMES [Act III 

which I will tell you, — a daring act done by 
my little beauty, which one could scarce expect 
of her simplicity. We must admit that Love 
is a great teacher; what we have never been, 
he teaches us to be ; often a total change in 
all our being becomes, by his instruction, instan- 
taneous. He smoothes the obstacles within our 
nature ; and his effects seem miracles, so sudden 
are they. A miser is made generous, a hero 
a poltroon, a civil man a brute. Love makes 
the dullest soul alert and gives to innocence 
intelligence. Yes, tliis last miracle appeared 
in Agnes, for, driving me away with these harsh 
words, ' ' Depart ; your visits I renounce ; I 
know the meaning of your speeches, and here 'a 
my answer," she threw the stone, and with it 
was — a letter ! But oh ! how charmed I was 
to find that letter interpreting the meaning of 
her words and the cast missile. Are you not 
surprised at such an act t And does not Love 
know well the art of sharpening wits t Can we 
deny that his all-potent flame can do amazing 
things within the soul? What think you of 
this little trick 1 and of her note ? You must 
admire such cleverness of mind. Is it not 
droll to see the part our jealous guardian plays 
in this bamboozlement 1 



ScBHBlV] L'i;COLE DES FEMMES 87 

Aknolphb. 
Yes, very droll ! 

Horace. 

Why don't you laugh 1 {Amolphe gives a 
forced laugh.) ' T is most amusing to see that 
man, in arms against my love, intrench himself 
within the house and figlit with stones — as if 
I sought to enter by assault ! — and, in his 
comic dread, set both his servants on me, 
while, before his very eyes, his machinations 
are being turned against him by her whom he 
has striven to keep a dunce. As for me, I own, 
though his return has brought great trouble 
to my love, I find it very funny, and I laugh 
with all my heart to think of it. But you 
don't laugh, my friend! 

Arnolphe. 
Excuse me, I am laughing all I can. 

Horace. 

ITow I must show you, as a friend, the 
letter. Her hand at least knows how to write 
all that her heart is feeling, in words most 
touching, full of goodness, innocent tenderness, 
and artless candor, — in short, the very way a 



88 L':feCOLE DES FEMMES [Act III 

pure young nature would express its earliest 
sense of love. 

Arnolphe, aside. 
So! the minx! this is the use she makes 
of writing ! 'T was much against my will the 
art was taught her. 

HoBACE, reading. 

"I wish to write to you, but I am troubled 
how to do so. I have thoughts that I want 
you to know, but I do not feel able to say 
them; I distrust my words. As I have just 
begun to see how they have always kept me 
ignorant, I fear to write something that is 
not right, and to say more than I ought. 
To speak the truth, I do not know what you 
have done to injure me, but I know that I am 
sorry to death for what they are making me do 
against you ; I shall suffer great pain in trying 
to do without you ; and I should be very glad 
to be yours. Perhaps there is some harm in 
saying that, but indeed I cannot help saying it, 
and I hope I can do so without doing wrong. 
They tell me that all young men are deceivers; 
that I must not listen to them, and that all you 
have said was only said to harm me. But I 
do assure you I have not yet been able to think 



Scene IV] L'feCOLE DES FEMMES 89 

that of you; and I am so touched by your 
words that I know not how to believe they 
are doceitful. Tell me, frankly, how that is. 
I am so truly without suspicion that you would 
do me the greatest wrong in the world if you 
deceived me in this. I think I should die 
of that distress." 

Abnolphe, aside. 
Ho ! the slut. 

HOKACE. 

What is the matter ? 

Abnolphe. 
Nothing — I coughed. 

Horace. 
Did you ever hear sweeter expressions 1 In 
spite of the accursed care of unjust power, how 
beautiful tlie nature she reveals. Is it not a 
punishable crime to try, so wickedly, to spoil 
that soul and smother the natural light of such 
a mind in ignorance and stupidity ? Love is 
beginning, as you see, to tear away the veil; 
and if, by the help of some good star I can, as 
I hope I may, give to that vile animal, that 
traitor, that brute, that scoundrel, that — 



90 L'fiCOLE DES FEMMES [Act III 

Arnolphe. 

Adieu. 

Horace. 

What, 80 soon 1 j 

Arnolphe. 

Yes, I have just bethought me of some press- 
ing business. 

Horace. 

But cannot you tell me, as you live so near, 
of some one who has access to the house ? I ask 
it -without scruple, for between friends, 'tis not 
an unusual thing to do such service. There is 
no one now within the house but spies who 
watch me. The maid and valet, no matter how 
I try to soften them, won't hear a word. At 
fir.st T employed a shrewd old woman, a genius 
in such matters, who ser\ed me well; but the 
poor thing died three days ago. Could you not 
point me to some other means 1 

Arnolphe. 
No, I cannot ; you '11 find them easily without 
me. 

Horace. 

Very well, adieu ; you see I trust you. 



Scene V] L'fiCOLE DES FEMMES 91 

SCENE FIFTH 

Arnolphe, alone. 

How I was forced to curb myself before him ! 
what pains I 've borne to hide this smarting 
sorrow ! Can innocence he so quick-witted ? 
Did slie feign innocence to me, the traitress? or 
did the devil breathe upon her soul? That 
fatal letter has destroyed me. I see the traitor 
has laid hold upon her mind and now, ejecting 
me, is anchored there. Oh ! black despair and 
mortal pain ! This robbery of her heart is double 
suffering, for love repines as well as honor. 
I am enraged to find my place usurped, enraged 
to see how she has foiled my prudence. I know 
well that to punish her wanton love I have but 
to leave her to her destiny ; 't is she herself who 
will avenge me. But it is very sorrowful to 
lose that which we love. Oh, Heaven ! why, 
when I made my choice by true philosophy, why 
must I be .so captive to her charms ? She has 
no friends, no parents, no support; she has 
betrayed my care, my charity, my tenderness, 
and yet I love her! I love her after this base 
act so that I cannot live without her. Fool ! 
are you not ashamed ? Oh ! I am mad, I burst 



92 L'iCOLE DES FEMMES [Act HI 

■with fury, I could beat my head a thousand 
times against that wall. I must go in ; but only 
for a moment, just to see if, after this black 
deed, she keeps her countenance. Oh, Heaven ! 
grant that my forehead be exempt from this 
disgrace. Or else, if it be written above that I 
must bear it, grant me at least, in these events, 
the firmness that I see in other men. 



BND or THIRD ACT. 



SobnbI] L'i;COLE DES FEMMES 93 

act JFourtJ 

SCENE FIRST 

Abnolphe, alone. 

A THOUSAND cares harass my mind. I 
cannot, I confess, control myself enough to form 
a plan which shall defeat, indoors and out, the 
efforts of that popinjay. With what an eye the 
traitress hore my glance ! All she has done 
does not abash her; though she has brought me 
almost to my grave, one would think, to look at 
her, that she knew nothing of it. The more I 
watch her tranquil air, the more I feel the bile 
within me stirred ; and yet these foaming trans- 
ports which convulse my heart seem only to 
increase my amorous ardor. I was bitter, angry, 
desperate against her, and yet she never looked 
to mine so beautiful. Never did those eyes 
80 shine to mine, and never did I feel for her 
such longing. I cannot live if my sad fate it 
is to bear this misery. What! shall I have 
trained her with all care and tenderness, shall 
I have kept her in my home since childhood, 
cherishing a precious hope, building my heart 



94 L':fcCOLE DES FEMMES [Act IV 

upon her budding charms, and forming her, for 
thirteen years, to suit me, only to see a puppy 
with whom she falls in love snatch her away 
beneath my very beard, when she is semi-mar- 
ried to me t No, parbleu ! no ! Young fool, 
my friend indeed! you shall not have the laugh 
on me ; you may try all your tricks, but I will 
turn, my word upon it, all your hopes to 
ashes. 



SCENE SECOND 
A Notary, Arnolphe 

NOTAKY. 
Ah ! here he is. Good-day to you. I 've 
come prepared to draw the contract you desire 
to make. 

Aknolphe, not seeing the notary and thinking 
himself alone. 
But how can it be done 1 

NOTAST. 

In the usual form, of course. 

Arnolphe, thinking himself alone. 
Let me reflect on my precautions — 

NOTAET. 

I shall put nothing in against your interests. 



Scene U] L'feCOLE DES FEMMES 95 

Abnolphe, thinking himself alone. 
I must protect myself against all plots — 

NOTAKT. 

Sufi&ce it that you place your interests in my 
hands ; you need fear no deception. 

Aknolphe, thinking himself alone. 
I fear, if I suifer this matter to transpire, that 
the whole town will gossip — 

Notary. 

Well, 't is easy enough to hinder that by 
signing the contract privately. 

Abnolphe, thinking himself alone. 
But, in any case, how shall I treat her ? 

Notary. 
The jointure is regulated by the total of your 
property. 

Arnolphe, thinking himself alone. 
I love her, and that love is my greatest 
hindrance. 

Notary. 

'T is easy in all contracts to favor the wife. 

Arnolphe, thinking himself alone. 
What treatment is best in this emergency ? 



96 L'feCOLE DES FEMMES [Act IV 

Notary. 
The rule is that the husband should endow 
the wife with a third of her own dot; but that 
is not enforced; more can be given if desired. 

Abnolphe, thinking himself alone. 
If — (He sees the notary.') 

Notary. 
As for the benefit of the survivor, that must 
be arranged conjointly; I only say that the 
husband can, by the marriage contract, endow 
the wife as he sees fit. 

• 

Ahnolphe. 
Hey J 

Notary. 

If he loves her much and wants to please her 
he can favor her in various ways; either by 
jointure or by what is called " prefix, " — that 
is, a settlement reverting to the husband on the 
wife's decease; or without reversion, in which 
case it goes to her heirs; or by common law 
if both consent; or by donation in the contract 
which can be made either unconditional or re- 
ciprocal. Why do you shrug your shoulders? 
Am I talking like an ignoramus who does not 
know the forms of a marriage contract ? Who 



ScbubH] L'feCOLE DES FEMMES 97 

can teach me, I 'd like to know 1 No one, I 
presume. Don't I know that after marriage 
custom gives the parties equal rights in fur- 
niture and property, real or thereafter acquired, 
unless by deed they renounce them. Don't I 
also know that a third of the wife's dot becomes 
the common property of the husband in order 
to — 

Aenolphe. 

Yes, yes; 'tis certain that you know all that; 
but who has said a word to you about it. 

Notary. 
Why, you yourself, who are trying to make 
me out a fool, shrugging your shoulders and 
grimacing at me ! 

Aknolphe. 
A plague upon the fellow and his sluttish 
face ! Adieu ; to leave you is the only way 
to stop your mouth. 

Notary. 
Did you not send for me to draw a contract ? 

Arnolphe. 

Yes, I did send for you ; but the matter is 
now postponed. They '11 fetch you when the 
time is fixed. What a devil of a man for talk I 
VOL. y. — 7 



98 L'6C0LK DES FEMMES [Act IV 

Notary, alone. 
I think he '11 stick to that — and I always 

think right. 

— • — 

SCENE THIRD 
The Notary, Alain, Georgette 

Notary going up to them. 
Did you not fetch me by order of your 
master 1 

Alain. 
Yes. 

Notary. 

I don't know what you think of him, but you 
can tell him from me that / say he is downright 
crazy. 

Georgette. 

We won't fail to do so. 



SCENE FOURTH 
Abnolphe, Alain, Geobgettb 

Alain. 
Monsieur — 

Arnolphe. 

Come here, the pair of you. You are my 

faitliful, good, true friends; I know what you 

have done. 



ScbnbIV] L'i;COLE DES FEMMES 99 

Alain. 

The notary — 

Aenolphe. 

Never mind the notary ; that 's for another 
day. My honor is attacked by scurvy tricks; 
and what an injury to you, my cliildren, if your 
master's honor is taken from him! You would 
not dare to show yourselves in any place ; 
for even the people in the streets would point 
their fingers at you. Therefore, as this affair 
hurts you as well as me, you must keep so close 
a watch that this young gallant cannot, in any 
way — 

Geokgette. 
You have already taught us how to do it. 

Aknolpiie. 
Yes ; but beware lest his fine speeches get 
the better of you. 

Alain. 

Pooh! they can't. 

Georgette. 
We shall know how to answer them. 

Abnolphe. 
But suppose he softly says : " Alain, kind 
heart, comfort my trouble with a little help." 



100 L'feCOLE DES FEMMES [Act IV 

Alain. 

You are a fool. 

Arnolphe. 
Eight. {To Georgette) "Georgette, my 
dear, you seem to me so sweet and good a 

girl." 

Geobgette. 

You are a booby. 

Abnolphe. 
Good. {To Alain) " What harm can you 
see in a plan so honest and all full of virtue ? " 

Alain. 
You are a knave and a cheat. 

Arnolphe. 
Good, very good ! {To Georgette) " My 
death is sure if you will not have pity on my 

pain." 

Geobgette. 

You are an impudent jackass. 

Arnolphe. 

Very good indeed! {To Alain) " I 'm not a 

man to ask nothing for nothing. I remember 

the services every one does me; but, Alain, in 

advance, here's a trifle for drink; and here's 



Scene IV] L':fcCOLE DES FEMMES 101 

for you, Georgette, to buy a new petticoat." 
{They both put out their hands and take the 
money.) " That 's only a sample of what I will 
give you. All I ask in return is to see your 
young mistress." 

Georgette, pushing him. 
Talk that way to others. 

Aknolphe. 
Ha! very good, that. 

Alain, pushing him. 
Come, get out of here. 

Aknolphe. 

Well done ! 

Geoegetxe, pushing him. 
Make haste and be off ! 

Aenolphe. 
Hol^, that 's enough. 

Georgette. 
Don't I do as I ought ? 

Alain. 
Is n't that what you meant ! 

Arnolphe. 

Yes — all but the money you ought not to 
have taken. 



i02 L'llCOLE DES FEMMES [Act IV 

Geokgette. 
That 's a part we forgot. 

Alain. 
Do you wish us to do it again ? 

Arnolphe. 
No, once is enough. Return to the house. 

Alain. 
You have only to say so. 

Aenolphe. 
No, no ; I say no ! Return to the house as I 
tell you; I give you that money. Go in; keep 
an eye upon all, and second my efforts. 



SCENE FIFTH 

Arnolphe, alone. 
I want a spy to watch the door. I '11 take 
that cohbler at the corner of the street, and put 
him in my house; he'll keep good guard and 
drive away those sellers of ribbons, wigs, and 
handkerchiefs, perfumers, barbers, dealers in cast- 
off finery, who are always working underhand 
to help the schemes of lovers. I 've seen the 
world; I know its wiles; and that young spark 



ScbnbVI] L'6cOLE DES FEMMES 103 

■will be amazing clever if note or word from him 
enters my house. 



SCENE SIXTH 
HosACE, Abnolphb 

HOBACE. 

How fortunate I am to meet you. I have 
just had a fine escape ! As I passed along the 
street, not foreseeing this adventure, alone upon 
her balcony in the cool shadow of the trees, I 
saw Agnes. She made me a sign, and then she 
slipped into the garden and undid the gate. 
Scarcely, however, had we reached her room 
when she heard her jealous guardian on the 
stairs. All she could do, at such a pinch, was 
to put me in a closet. The man came in ; I did 
not see him, but I heard him, striding up and 
down, fetching, from time to time, most pitiable 
sighs, giving great thumps upon the tables, 
striking a. little dog that ran to him, and fling- 
ing violently round the room the clothes that 
lay there. He even broke, with furious hands, 
the vases with which my Agnes decked her 
mantel. Ij^o doubt some word li;iil reached that 
rascally old ram about the trick she played in 



104 L'feCOLE DES FEMMES [Act IV 

dropping me the letter. At last, after a hun- 
dred twists and turns, having discharged his 
wrath on everything, he left the room, and I 
my hiding-place. But fearing his return we 
did not dare remain together, it was too haz- 
ardous. However, this evening, late, I am to 
cough three times beneath her window to let 
her know I 'm there, and, at the signal, I shall 
see her open it. Then with a ladder and the 
help of Agnes, my love will try to gain an 
entrance. As my one friend, I want to tell 
you this. The rapture of my heart increases 
if I can speak of it; though we may taste our 
perfect happiness a hundred times, we are not 
quite content if no one knows it. You will be 
glad, I think, at this good luck in my affairs. 
Adieu; for I must make my preparations. 



SCENE SEVENTH 
Arnolphe, alone. 
So, then ! the star that ohsthiately thwarts my 
hopes gives me no chance to breathe. Time 
after time am I to see their wits confound the 
prudence of my vigilant care? Am T, in my 
maturity, to be the dupe of a mere ignorant 



Scene VII] L'feCOLE DES FEMMES 105 

girl and a young featherhead — I, who am 
known for twenty years to meditate with sage 
philosophy upon the melancholy fate of hus- 
bands ! Have I not studied carefully the dan- 
gers which bring misfortune to the wisest of 
them ? The shame of others profiting my soul, 
I have sought means, wishing to take a wife, 
to guarantee my honor from affront; a noble 
purpose, for which I 've put in practice the 
best, as I think, of all human policy; and yet, 
— as if fate willed that no one here below 
should be exempt ! — after all the experience, 
all the light that I have gained upon this sub- 
ject, after a score of years of meditation on the 
prudence of my conduct, am I to find myself 
with other husbands, in the same disgrace? 
Ah, cursed destiny ! how you have lied to 
nie ! But I hold possession of her still; 
although her heart be stolen from me by that 
malignant fop, at least I can prevent that he 
shall seize the rest. This night, selected for 
their daring exploit, shall not pass off as sweetly 
as he thinks. It is some pleasure in the midst 
of grief to have this warning of their plot and 
to find that giddy-pated fool who seeks my 
injury making a confidant of me, his rival ! 



106 L'flCOLE BES FEMMES [Act IV 

SCENE EIGHTH 
Chbtsaldb, Abnolfhb 

Chbysalde. 

Well, shall we sup to-night before we take 
our walk? 

Arnolphe. 
No ; I fast this evening. 

Chrtsalde. 
Wliat means that whim ? 

Arnolphe. 

I beg you to excuse me ; I have much upon 
my mind. 

Chrtsalde. 

Will the marriage you intended not take 
place 1 

Arnolphe. 

You concern yourself too much in the affairs 
of others. 

Chrtsalde, 

Ho, ho! how trencliant! What's all this 
grief aliout? Tell me, old friend, has any tribu- 
lation happened to your love ? I could almost 
swear it by the look upon your face. 



ScbkbVIU] L'i:COLE DES FEMMES 107 

Aenolphe. 
Whatever happens, I shall at least have this 
advantage, that I can never act like certain 
men who tolerate calmly the approach of 
gallants. 

Chbysalde. 

'T is a strange fact that with so good a mind 
you make a bugbear of this matter; as if our 
sovereign happiness lay there, and you could 
not perceive in all the world another form of 
honor. To be a miser, brute, or cheat, wicked 
or cowardly, is nothing in your eyes compared 
to this disgrace. No matter, you think, what 
sort of life a man may lead, he is only a man of 
honor if he is not a cuckold. To go to the 
bottom of all this, why do you think our fame 
depends upon this casual chance, and that a 
well-born soul ought to reproach itself for unjust 
evils it cannot prevent? Why insist, I say, 
that by taking a wife a man involves himself 
in either praise or blame ? Why make a scare- 
crow of the wrong her possible unfaithfulness 
may do him? Admit into your mind the 
thought that injured husbands may be gallant 
men; that, marriage being a game of chance, 
no one is safe; and, if the luck should go against 



108 L':feCOLE DES FEMMES [Act TV 

him, a man should be indifferent, and reflect 
that all the harm, however people gossip, is in 
the way he takes the thing. The wisest con- 
duct in such difficulty is — as in all things 
else — to avoid extremes. Not, on the one hand, 
to imitate those easy-going fellows who take 
a sort of vanity in such affairs, praise up the 
gallants of their wives, extol their talents, 
parade the closest intimacy, share in their 
parties and their gifts, and so conduct them- 
selves that other men are forced to wonder 
at their barefaced coolness. Such behavior is 
most blamablo. But on the other hand, the 
opposite extreme is much to be condemned. 
Although I disapprove these friends of lovers, 
I 'm not in favor of those turbulent folk whose 
growling and tempestuous grief imprudently 
attracts the eyes of all the world ; and who, by 
such exposure, seem to wish that no one should 
be ignorant of their misfortune. Between 
these two extremes there is a better way, which, 
if the need occurs, a wise man should adopt; 
and when he takes it, he will find he does not 
have to blush for the worst actions that a wife 
can do. No matter what the world may say, 
husbands might easily regard this matter under 
less hideous aspects, and, as I said before, true 



Scene VIII] L'feCOLE DES FEMMES 109 

wisdom lies in knowing how to turn the best 
side out. 

Aknolphe. 
After this fine discourse , the whole fraternity 
of luckless husbands owes to your Grace a vote 
of thanks ; whoever listens to your words must 
surely wish to join that joyful band. 

Chbysalde. 
I don't say that; for that is what I blame. 
But, as it is the fate which women bring us, 
I say we ought to take it as we throw the dice ; 
if what we want does not turn up, we should 
play low, and with a humbler soul correct ill- 
fortune by our own good conduct. 

Arnolphe. 
That is to say, eat and sleep well, and so per- 
suade ourselves that nothing is amiss. 

Chktsalde. 
You think you are making game of me. 
But let me tell you that I see a hundred things 
more to be dreaded, things that would be to me 
a greater misery, than this you fear. Think 
you that if T had to choose between the two, 
I would not rather bear the thing you speak 
of than be the husband of a shrew, whose 



110 L'fiCOLE DES FEMMES [Act IV 

nagging temper makes a fuss for naught ; one of 
those dragons of virtue, spotless devils, who 
think they have the right to lord it over us 
and, "on the ground of their fidelity, expect 
us to put up with all they do. Once more, old 
friend, I tell you truly, the fate you dread 
is only what you make it; and this disaster, 
like all other things, may have its pleasures 
and its compensations. 

Arnolphb. 
If you 've a temper that can thus content 
itself, so be it ; as for me, I do not choose 
to risk that fate, apd sooner than submit to 
such disgrace I swear — 

Chrysalde. 
Oh, heavens!, don't swear, for fear of being 
perjured ; if destiny decrees it, caution is super- 
fluous; your counsel won't be taken in the 
matter. 

Arnolphe. 
Well, enough of all this jesting; it annoys 
me ; we '11 stop it, if you please. 

Chrysalde. 
You are angry; and I shall find out the 
cause. Adieu. Eemember, although your honor 



Scene IX] L'6C0LE DES FEMMES 111 

prompts you in all this, he who makes oath he 
will not be the thing you fear is partly that 
already. 

Arnolphe. 

Again I swear it; and I am going now to 
practise a sure remedy against it, (^He raps at 
his door.) 



SCENE NINTH 
Abnolphb, Alain, Georgkttb 

Arnolphe. 

Priends, I want your help. I am proud of 
your affection, but it must now shine forth 
in my defence ; and if you serve me, as I think 
you will, you may be certain of your recom- 
pense. The man you know of (say no word of 
this) intends, as I have heard, to take us by 
surprise this very night, and enter Agnes' 
window by a ladder. We must, all three of 
us, prepare an ambush. I wish you each to 
take a stick and when he 's near the top rung 
of the ladder, rain blows for my sake on him 
in such a way his back shall keep the memory 
of this night and teach him, once for all, he 
never can return. Be careful not to speak of 



112 L'feCOLE DBS FEMMES [Act IV 

me in any way, or let him know that I am 
close behind you. Shall you have sense enough 
to serve my anger? 

Alain. 
If all that 's needed is to strike, my goodness ! 
we'll do that. When I strike, as you shall 
see, my hand ain't dead. 

Georgette. 

And mine, though it may look less strong, 
can hold its own in givuig him a drubbing. 

Aenolphe. 

Well, now go in; be careful not to gossip. 
(Alone) Now I can give a useful lesson to 
my neighbors. If all the husbands in this 
town received the gallants of their wives in 
this way the number of those cuckolds would 
diminish. 



END OF FOURTH ACT. 



ScenkI] L'^COLE DES FEMMES 113 



act ifiiifj 

SCENE FIRST 
Abnolphe, Alain, Geosobttb 

Arnolphe. 
Wretches, what have you done by all this 
violence ? 

Alain. 

Just what you told us, monsieur. 

Arnolphe. 

In vain you arm yourself with that excuse. 
My order was to beat him, not to kill liim ; 
to strike his back, but not rain blows upon liis 
head. Good heavens ! in what disaster fate 
involves me! how can I bear to look on that 
dead man ! Go in at once, and say no word 
about the harmless order that I gave you. 
(Alone) The day is dawning; let me reflect 
how I had best conduct myself in such a dire 
mishap. Alas! what will become of me? what 
will the father say wlien he arrives and hears, 
on a sudden, of tliis sad aCfair. 

VOL. v. — 8 



114 L'fiCOLE DES FEMMES [Act V 

SCENE SECOND 
Horace, Arkolphb 

Horace, aside. 
I ought to reconnoitre who this is. 

Aknolphe, thinking himself alone. 
How could I have forpseen — {Stumbles 
against Horace, whom he does not recognize.) 
Who 's there, if you please 1 

HOEACK. 

What, Seigneur Arnolphe, is this you! 

Aenolphe. 
Yes, but who are you? 

HOEACE. 

I 'm Horace, and I was going to your house 
to ask a favor. How early you are out! 

Aenolphe, aside. 
'T is inconceivable ! Is it enchantment 1 Is 

it illusion? 

Horace. 

I am, to tell the truth, in some anxiety, and 
I bless heaven for its sovereign kindness in 
allowing me to meet you liore. I must tell you 
that my scheme succeeded even better than I 



Scene II] L'ifeCOLE DES FEMMES 115 

dared to hope, and tlirough an incident, more- 
over, which threatened to defeat it. I don't 
know how this assignation could have been sus- 
pected, but, at any rate, just as I reached the 
window several persons rushed upon me sud- 
denly, so that I lost my balance and fell head- 
long from the ladder. But this fall saved me, 
at the cost of trifling bruises, from a score of 
blows ; while tliose above (among them, I think, 
my enemy) believed the fall resulted from their 
blows, and, as the pain I felt kept me still lying 
on the ground, they thought they had killed me 
outright, and were much alarmed. I heard their 
talk amid the silence; each accused the other, 
and, in the darkness, quarrelling still, they all 
crept down to feel of me aud see if I were dead. 
I leave you to imagine whether, it being pitch 
dark, I did not play the corpse. They soon 
departed, frightened, I think, to death, and I 
was just about to go myself when Agnes, who 
had heard these people talking of my death, 
came to me, trembling ; for during this tumult, 
being less observed, she had been able easily to 
leave the house. Finding I was not really hurt, 
she yielded to a transport I cannot describe. 
How shall I tell you t This sweet young girl 
followed the counsels of her love; she would 



116 L'l;COLE DES FEMMES [Act V 

not enter that man's house again, and to my 
honor she commits her destiny. Think for a 
moment to what such innocence exposed her, 
and what grievous perils she might have run 
were I a man to treasure her less ! But my 
soul is glowing with a love too pure; I 'd rather 
die than wrong her. In all she does I see a grace 
that is deserving of a higher fate ; and nothing 
BOW can part me from her until death. 'T is true 
that I foresee my father's anger, but we must 
hope in time to appease his wrath. I yield my- 
self to her sweet charms and know the value 
of content in life. What I have come to ask 
of you is this : that I may place my Agnes in 
your hands, and that your house may be her 
shelter for a day or two. Besides the fact that 
I must hide her flight and guard her from pur- 
suit, you know that if a girl joins a young man 
in this way it will give rise to strange suspi- 
cions. And since to you, sure of your prudence, 
I have told my love, to you I now, as to a gen- 
erous friend, confide this precious trust. 

Abnolphe. 
I am, I pray do not doubt it, wholly at your 

service. 

Horace. 

Then you will really do me this kiad office ? 



Scene II] L'i;COLE DES TEMMES 117 

Aenolphe. 
Most willingly, I tell you. I am delighted 
with this chance to serve you, and I thank 
heaven that sends it to me ; never have I done 
anything with so much joy. 

Horace. 

How grateful I am for all your kindness! 
I feared that you might make some difficulties. 
But you know life, and, in your wisdom, you 
can excuse the fire of youth. Agnes is here, 
close by ; one of my servants guards her. 

Abnolphe. 

Ah ! how shall we manage it ? 'T is nearly 
daylight, and if I take her here I may be seen ; 
yet if you come to me my servants might report 
it. The safest way would be to bring her to 
some dark place and give her to me there. The 
alley near my house is just the thing; I will 
await you there. 

Horace. 

Those are precautions you do well to take. 
As for me, I '11 simply put her hand in yours 
and then return at once to my own house. 

Abnolphe, alone. 
Ah, fortune! this propitious end repairs the 
wrongs your whims have done me. 



118 L'fiCOLE DBS FEMMES [Act V 

SCENE THIRD 
AoNEB, Aenolphe, Hokace 

Horace, to Agnes. 
Do not be troubled as to where I 'm taking 
you ; it is a safe retreat. To lodge you in my 
house would be to injure you. Enter this little 
gate, and let the person who will meet us lead 
you. {Amolphe takes Agnes' hand without 
her recognizing him.) 

Agnes, to Horace. 
Why do you leave me i 

Horace. 
Dear Agnes, because I must. 

Agnes. 
But come back soon, I beg you. 

Horace. 
My loving ardor urges it. 
Agnes. 
When I do not see you I am not content. 

Horace. 
Away from you I, too, am sad. 

Agnes. 
Alas ! if that were so you'd stay with me. 



ScBUElIIJ L'feCOLE DES FEMMES 119 

Horace. 
What ! can you doubt my faithful love 1 
Agnes. 

No ! you do not love me as I love you. 

(Arnolphe pulls her.) Ah! he pulls me from 

you. 

Horace. 

Because, dear Agnes, it is dangerous for you 

if we are seen together. My faithful friend 

■whose hand holds yours obeys the prudent zeal 

he feels for us. 

Agnes. 

But, to follow a stranger who — 

Horace. 

Fear nothing ; in his hands you cannot but be 

safe. 

Agnes. 

I'd rather be in those of Horace. (^To 
Arnolphe, who pulls her again) Ah ! wait. 

Horace. 
Adieu; the daylight drives me from you. 

Agnes. 
When shall I see you ? 

Horace. 
Soon, soon, assuredly. 



120 L'feCOLE DES FEMMES [Act V 

Agnes. 
How I shall weary for that moment ! 

HoBACE, as he goes away. 
Thanks be to heaven, my happiness no longer 
fears a rival and I can sleep in peace. 



SCENE FOURTH 
Aknolphe, AONE8 

Abnolphb, concealed by his cloak and dis- 
guising his voice. 
Come ; it is not here that I shall lodge you. 
Your room has been prepared by me elsewhere. 
Come, I shall put your person now in some safe 
place. (^Dropping his cloak.) Do you know 
me now ? 

Agnes. 
Aie! 

Aknolphe. 

My face, deceitful girl, may -well alarm you ; 
it vexes you to see me here; I thwart the 
scheming love that now possesses you. (Agnes 
looks about, trying to see Horace.) You need 
not call your gallant with your eyes; he is too 
far off to give you any help. Ah ! ah ! so 



Scene IV] L'feCOLE DES FEMMES 121 

young, and yet to play sucli tricks ! Your 
artlossness, which seemed unparalleled — ask- 
ing if children were not born through ears ! — 
knows how to give a rendezvous by night and 
follow a lover slyly. Tudieu ! I heard your 
tongue cajole him! He must have put you 
through a pretty schooling ! But how the 
devil did you learn so fast? or did your gal- 
lant in a single night teach you this boldness 1 
Ha, hussy! that you should come to this vile 
treachery ! in spite of all my benefits, that you 
should form a scheme like this! Young ser- 
pent that I warmed within my bosom, who now, 
no longer numb, with base ingratitude seeks to 
do ill to him who cherished it ! 

Agnes. 
Why do you scold me thus ? 

Arnolphe. 
Ha ! a great wrong I do you ! 

Agnes. 
I see no harm in what I do. 

Arnolphe. 
To follow a lover is most infamous. 



122 L'tCOLE DBS FEMMES [Act V- 

Agnes. 
He is a man who wants me for his wife. I 
have followed your lessons; you told me we 
should marry to avoid all sin. 

Abnolphe. 
Yes, but I meant to take you for my wife; 
I think I made you understand that plainly. 

Agnes. 
Yes, but to speak quite frankly, he is for 
that more to my taste than you. With you, 
marriage is cross and peevish, and all you say 
of it draws such a dreadful picture ; but there ! 
when he describes it, 't is so full of pleasures he 
makes one wish to marry. 

Aenolphe. 
Ha! you love him, treacherous girl ! 

Agnes. 
Yes, I love him. 

Aenolphe. 
And you have the face to say it in my 

presence ! 

Agnes. 

Why, if it be true, should T not say it 1 

Aenolphe. 
Ought you to love him, jade 1 



Scene IV] L':fcCOLE DES FEMMES 123 

Agnes. 
Ah! how can I help it? he is alone the 
cause. I never thought of it till the thing 
happened. 

Arnolphe. 

You should have driven that amorous wish 
away. 

Agnes. 

How can one drive away that which gives 

pleasure ] 

Arnolphe. 

Did you not know you were displeasing me 1 

Agnes. 
I? no, indeed. What harm could that do 
you? 

Arnolphe. 

True, I have reason to rejoice ! oh, yes ! So 
then, you do not love me, it appears. 

Agnes. 

You? 

Arnolphe. 

Yes. 

Agnes. 
No. 

Arnolphe. 

What ! you say no 1 



124 L':feCOLE DES FEMMES [Act V 

Agnes. , 

No. Would you have me lie 1 

Arnolphe. 
And why, rebellious girl! do you not love 
me? 

Agnes. 
It is not I you ought to blame. Why did 
not you, as he did, make yourself loved? I 
never, that I know of, hindered you. 

Arnolphe. 
I strove with all ray might to do so, but the 
pains I took have come to naught 1 

Agnks. 
Well, truly, he knows more of this than you; 
he did not find it hard to make me love him. 

Arnolphe, aside. 
A plague upon her! how this wretched girl 
reasons and answers; no precieuse could say 
more. Ha! I have misconceived her; or else, 
by heaven! a silly girl knows more of these 
things than the ablest man. (To Agnes) As 
your mind, it seems, has taken to reasoning, 
perhaps you can tell me whether 'tis likely 
I should have nourished you these many years, 
at my expense, for him ? 



Scene IV] L'fiCOLE DES FEMMES 125 

Agnes. 

No; and he will pay you back to the last 
farthing. 

Arnolphe, aside. 

Such speeches only double my vexation ! 
{Aloud) Can he return, you hussy, with all his 
power, the obligations that you owe me ? 

Agnes. 
They are not so great as one would think. 

Aenolphe. 
The care with which I brought you up from 
childhood, — it that nothing 1 

Agnes. 
Truly, how has that worked for me ] What 
have you had me taught ? Do you think I am 
deceived and in my mind I do not know • that 
I am stupid ? I am ashamed of it myself, and 
now that I am growing older I do not want to 
be a fool if I can help it. 

Arnolphe. 

You want, at any rate, to escape your igno- 
rance by learning something from that fair-haired 
dandy. 



126 L'fiCOLE DES FEMMES [Act V 

Agnes. 
Yes ; for it is through him I now know what 
I could know. I think I owe to him far more 
than I owe to you. 

Abnolphe. 
I don't know what prevents me from aveng- 
ing this bravado with a slap; your saucy cool- 
ness is infuriating, and it would satisfy my 
heart to box your ears. 

Agnes. 
Alas I you can do so, if you wish. 

Abnolphe, aside. 
That answer and that look disarm me, and 
turn my heart again to tenderness. What a 
strange thing is love, that for these treacherous 
creatures men must be ever subject to such 
weakness ! Who does not know their imperfec- 
tions, made up of folly and extravagance ? Their 
minds are wicked and their souls are frail; 
nothing on earth can be more feeble, imbecile, 
and faithless ! And yet, in spite of that, all 
that we do in this world is for these animals. 
{To Agnes) Well, Agnes, let us make it up. 
There, little traitress, I '11 forgive you and grant 
you iigain my tenderness. Judge from that how 



Scene IV] L':feCOLE DES FEMMES 127 

much I love you; and seeing me so kind, you 
must in turn love me. 

Agnes. 

With all my heart I wish that I could please 
you; if it were possible, I 'm sure I would. 

Arnolphe. 

Poor little heart ! but you can love me if you 
will. Listen only to my tender sighs, look at 
my person, see my longing glances, and quit that 
silly fool, reject the sort of love he offers you. 
He has cast a spell upon you. You will be 
happier far with me. Your natural passion 
is to be smart and lively, and that you shall be, 
always — hear me ! I promise it. Night and 
day I will caress you, pet you, kiss you; you 
shall do always as you wish in all things — 
(Aside in a low voice) Where will not pas- 
sion lead us? (Aloud) In short, my love 
can not be equalled. What proof can you 
desire, ungrateful girl? Would you have me 
weop t Would you see me smite myself ? Shall 
I tear out my hair 1 expire at your feet 1 Speak! 
say what you wish, for I am ready, oh, cruel 
heart ! to prove my love. 



128 L'tCOLE DES FEMMES [Act V 

Agnes. 
But such talk does not touch my soul ; Horace 
with two words can say more than you. 

Arnolphe. 

Ha ! this is hraving me too much ! you 've 
dared my wrath too far. Unmanageable fool ! 
I '11 follow my first intent and send you from 
this town. You may reject my love and drive 
me to extremes, but a convent cell will amply 
punish alL 

SCENE FIFTH 
Arnolphe, Agnes, Alaih 

Alain. 
Monsieur, I don't know how it happened, 
but it seems to me that Agnes and the corpse 
have gone away together. 

Arnolphe. 
Agnes is here. Take her, and lock her in 
my chamber. (Aside) He will not seek her 
there ; besides, 't will only be for half an hour ; 
I '11 get a coach at once and take her to a safe 
retreat. (To Alain) Lock the door securely 
and do not let her, for one moment, out of your 



Scene VI] L'tCOLE DES FEMMES 129 

siglit. (Alone) Perhaps her soul, if kept in 
solitude in some strange place, may yet be driven 
from this fatal love. 



SCENE SIXTH 
Arnolphb, Horacb 

HOKACE. 

Ah ! I seek you, overcome with grief. Heaven, 
Seigneur Arnolphe, is resolved upon my misery ; 
and by a fatal act of deep injustice tears from 
my arms the woman whom I love. My father 
came last night; I found him stopping in a 
house near by; and the reason of his coming, 
which, as I told you, was unknown to me, 
is that he plans my marriage, without a word 
to me, and comes here now to celebrate the 
tie. Imagine, you who have taken part in my 
anxieties, if any mischance could be as bad 
as this. Enrique, of whom I spoke to you, 
is the cause of it. He comes here with my 
father to complete my rain; it is his only 
daughter to whom they marry me. At their 
first words I nearly fainted; then, unable to 
listen longer, and hearing my father speak 
of paying you a visit, I, with a mind distressed, 

VOL. T. — 9 



130 lIcOLE DES FEMMES [ActV 

have rushed here quickly to forestall him. For 
pity's sake, do not betray my love, whicli might 
incense hiui ; and — because he has such confi- 
dence in you — try to dissuade him from this 
other marriage. 

Arnolphb. 
Ho, yes, indeed! 

Horace. 
Advise him to postpone the thing awhile. 
Do, as a friend, this service to my love. 

Arnolphe. 
Ha ! I '11 not fail to do it. 

Horace. 
My hope is all in you. 

Arnolphe. 
So be it. 

Horace. 
I regard you as my true father. Tell him 
that my age — Ah ! I see him coming. Step 
here with me, and listen to my reasons. 



Scene VU] L':&COLE DES FEMMES 131 

SCENE SEVENTH 
Enrique, Orontb, Chrysalde, Horace, Arnolphk 

Horace and Arnolphe retire to a corner and 
confer together. 

Enkiquk, to Chrysalde. 

The moment that I saw you enter, though 
nothing had been said to nie, I knew you at 
once. I see in you the features of your lovely 
sister, of whom in marriage I was once pos- 
sessed. Happy indeed, should I be now if 
cruel fate had let me bring my faithful partner 
back, to enjoy with me the pleasure of seeing 
our friends once more after our many sorrows. 
But, since the fatal power of destiny deprives 
us ever of her dear presence, let us endeavor to 
resign ourselves, and be content with the one 
pledge of love she left to me. This visit con- 
cerns you closely ; I should do wrong to pledge 
my daughter's hand without consulting you. 
A marriage with Oronte's son is glorious in 
itself, but it must be your choice as well as 
mine. 

Chrysalde. 

You have a poor opinion of my judgment if 
you doubt that I approve so wise a choice. 



132 L'iCOLE DES FEMMES [Act V 

Aenolphe, aside to Horace. 
Yes, I will serve you in the finest fashion. 

Horace. 
Pray be careful — 

Aknolphe, 
Have no fear. {Arnolphe leaves Horace and 
comes forward to greet Oivnte.) 

Oronte, to Arnolphe. 
Oh! how full of tenderness this greeting is ! 

Arxolphe. 
I feel, at the mere sight of you, the deepest 

joy. 

Okonte. 

I have come here to — 

Arnolphe. 
I know already why you come. 

Oronte. 
Has some one told you 1 

Arnolphe. 

Yes. 

Oronte. 

So much the better. 



ScBNE VII] L':feCOLE DES FEMMES 133 

Aknolphe. 
Your son resists this marriage; his heart, 
engaged elsewhere, sees only sadness in the pros- 
pect. He has even urged me to dissuade you 
from it. But as for that, the only counsel I 
shall give yoTi is not to allow the least delay, 
and to enforce the authority of father. We 
ought to keep young men in place with vigor; 
we injure them by being too indulgent. 

Horace, aside. 
Oh, traitor ! 

Chbtsalde. 
But if his heart feels some repugnance I do 
not think we ought to force it. My brother, I 
believe, will be of my opinion. 

Abnolphe. 

What ! would he let himself be governed by 
his son ? Do you wish a father to be so timid 
as not to know how to make a son obey him ? 
A fine thing truly it would be if fathers took 
the law from those whose duty 'tis to take the 
law from them. No, Oronte is my friend and 
his honor is mine; his word is given, and he 
must keep it. Let him show firmness now and 
force his son to yield obedience. 



134 L'ifcCOLE DES FEMMES [Act V 

Okonte. 

Yes, you say well. As for this marriage, 
I will myself be answerable for my son's 
obedience. 

Chrysalde, to Arnolphe. 
1 am surprised, for my part, at the eagerness 
you show about this new engagement. I can't 
imagine what motive you can have. 

Abnolphe. 
I know what I am doing, and I say what I 
ought to say. 

Oronte. 
Yes, yes, Seigneur Arnolphe, it is — 

Chrysalde. 
That name annoys him ; call him, as 1 told 
you, Monsieur de la Souche. 

Arnolphe. 

No matter for the name. 

Horace, aside. 
What do I hear 1 

Arnolphe, goitiff up to Horace. 

Yes, there 's the whole mystery. You can 
judge now what I think right to do. 



Scene VIU] L'ECOLE DES FEMMES 135 

SCENE EIGHTH 

Enrique, Oronte, Chrysalde, Horace, Aenolphe, 
Georgette 

Georgette. 
Monsieur, if you don't come soon we can't 
keep Agnes in. She is trying to escape in 
every way; she may be jumping through the 
window now. 

Arnolphe. 
Bring her to me. I am about to take her 
from this town. {To Horace) You need not 
feel distressed. Continual happiness makes 
men proud ; to every man his turn, the proverb 
says. 

Horace, aside. 
Oh, heaven ! what woes can equal mine ! and 
what a gulf is this before me ! 

Arnolphe to Oronte. 
Hasten the wedding-day ; I shall be back in 
time to take a part. You see I give myself an 
invitation. 

Oronte. 
It was my intention to invite you. 



136 L':feCOLE DES FEMMBS [Act V 

SCENE NINTH 

AavBS, Okontb, ENRiQnE, Arnolphk, Hok^lob, Chkt- 
8ALDE, Alain, Georqettb 

Arnolphe to Agnes. 
Come here, fair damsel, come, you whom 
they can't restrain, you are so headstrong. 
Here is your lover, and, to reward him, make 
him a sweet and humble curtsey. (To Horace) 
Adieu; events are not exactly what you wished, 
but every lover can't be satisfied, 

Agnes. 

Will you let me, Horace, be taken from you 

thusi 

Horace. 

I know not where I am, my anguish is so 

great. 

Abnolphe, pulling Agnes. 

Come, chatterer, come. 

Agnes. 
I wish to stay. 

Obonte. 

Tell us what all this mystery means. We 

are looking on, but cannot comprehend it. 

Abnolphe. 
Later, when I have leisure, I '11 explain. 
Till then, adieu. 



Scene IX] L':fcCOLE DES FEMMES 137 

Okonte. 
"Where are you going 1 You are not speaking 
to us as you ought to speak. 

Abnolphe. 
I have advised you, much against his will, to 
conclude the marriage of your son. 

Okonte. 

Yes, but in order to conclude it, you surely 
know — if, as you say, they have told you all — 
that in your house you have the girl he is to 
marry, — the daugliter wliom Seigneur Enrique 
by a private marriage had of the charming 
Ang^lique. If you did not know this fact, on 
what was the advice you gave me founded 1 

Chrysalde. 

I thought his whole behavior most surprising. 

Arnolphe. 
What! 

Chrysalde. 

My sister by her secret marriage had a 

daughter, whose birth was hidden from the 

family — 

Oronte. 

A child, who under a feigned name was 
given by its father to a village foster-mother — 



138 L'feCOLE DES FEMMES [Act V 

Chrysalde. 
Soon after which an adverse fate, bringing 
disaster on him, caused him to leave his native 

comitry — 

Oeonte. 

And face a thousand perils in lands beyond 
the seas — 

Chrysalde. 

Where his behavior won him the success that 
envy and detraction had denied him here — 

Okonte. 

On his return to France he sought at once 
the village-wife with whom he had left his 
daughter — 

Chry^salde. 

And she, the peasant-woman, frankly told 
him that she had placed her in your hands 
when four years old — 

Oronte. 
Leaving her thus upon your charity because 
of her own excessive poverty — 

Chrysalde. 
And he, with joy and eagerness of soul, has 
brought that woman to this town — 



Scene X] L'feCOLE DES FEMMES 139 

Okonte. 
That you may see her. She comes to clear 
this mystery to the eyes of all. 

Chktsalde, aside to Amolphe. 
I can divine the torture you endure. But, 
after all, fate is, in this mischance, propitious to 
you ; fearing so much the common fate of men, 
not to be married is your only safety. 

Arnolphe, departing furious, and unable to 
speak. 
Ouf! 



SCENE TENTH 
EmtiQUE, Oeonte, Chktsalde, Agnes, Horace 

Oronte. 
Why does he rush away without a word ? 

Horace. 

Ah, father ! you must now be told in full this 
most surprising mystery. Chance had already 
brought about that which your wisdom has pre- 
meditated. I, in the gentle bonds of mutual 
love, had passed my word to marry this sweet 
girl. 'T is she whom you have come to seek ; 
she, whom I angered you by first refusing. 



140 L'fiCOLE DES FEMMES [Act V 

Enrique. 

I cannot doubt it; from the moment that I 
saw her my soul has never ceased to be affected. 
Ah ! my daughter, I yield me to the transports 
of this joy. 

Chbtsalde. 

And I, with all my heart, will do the same. 
But this is not the place for such emotions. 
Let us within the house clear up these mys- 
teries, repay our friend the cost of his good care, 
and render thanks to heaven — which does all 
for the best ! 



END OF l'£C0LE DES FEMMES. 



L'ECOLE DES MARIS 

(Thb School fob Husbands) 



mt THBEE ACTS 



DEDICATION 



To MONSEIGNEUR, 

The Due d'Orl^ans, only Brother of the 
Kino. 

monseigneur, 

I SHOW to France in this publication two 
things that are little in proportion to each other. 
There is nothing so great and so superb as the 
name I put at the head of this book, and nothing 
lower than what the book contains. Every one 
can see that strange conjunction ; and some may 
well say, to express the contrast, that I have 
placed a crown of pearls and diamonds on a clay 
statue, and have led the way through a splendid 
portico and triumphal arches to a squalid cabin. 
But, Monseigneur, my excuse is that in this 
venture I have no choice, and that the honor 
of belonging to Your Royal Highness ' imposes 

* MoliJire was the leader of Monsieur's troupe of 
actors. Monsieur was the name given, after the reign 
of Louis XIII., to the eldest of the king's brothers. 



144 DEDICATION 

upon me the absolute necessity of dedicating to 
you the first work which, of my own will, I 
have ever published. It is not a gift I make to 
you, it is a duty which I perform ; and homage 
is never estimated by the things that convey it. 
I have therefore dared, Monseigneur, to dedi- 
cate this trifle to Your Royal Highness, because 
I could not dispense with so doing; and if I dis- 
pense with a recital of the noble and glorious 
truths that might be said about you it is from 
a just apprehension that the grandeur of such 
topics would exhibit still further the poorness 
of my oflFering. I impose this silence upon my- 
self in order to find a better time and place to 
express such noble things. All that I pretend 
to do in this epistle is to justify my action in 
the eyes of France, and to have the honor of 
telling to you yourself, Monseigneur, with all 
possible submission, that I am 
Your Royal Highness's 

very humble, very obedient, and 
very faithful servant, 

J. £. F. MoLiiBB. 



PERSONAGES 



SganABKLLE ) r> ^i 

. > Urothers. 

Ariste ) 

ISABELLE ) c- , 

^ , > jsisters. 

-Leonor ) 

I-'SETTE Maid to LSonor. 

^^'^^RE *. Lover of Isabelle. 

Eko-»^8Te Valet to Valere. 

A COMMISSABT. 

A Notary. 

The Kan* la in Pub, 



VOL. V. — 10 




LtCOLE DES MARIS 



art jFtrat 

SCENE FIRST 

SOANASELLE, ArISTB 

Sganabelle. 

JjEOTHER, if you please, let us cease these 
discussions, and each of us live as we each may 
think best. Although you have much the ad- 
vantage in years and are old enough now to 
have learned to be wise, I must honestly tell 
you it is my intention not to take any more of 
your proffered advice. The counsel I follow is 
that of my fancy, and I 'm very content with 
my manner of life. 

Ariste. 
But others condemn it. 

Sganarellb. 
Yes, fools like yourself. 



148 L':feCOLE DES MARIS [Act I 

Ariste. 

Brother, a thousand thanks ; the compliment 
is kind. 

Sganarelle. 

I would like much to know — for one ought 
to know all — what these fine censors find to 
reprehend. 

Akiste. 

Your sullen temper, the severity of which 
eschews the amenities of social life, gives a 
fantastic air to all you do, and, even to your 
clothes, stamps you as barbarous, 
Sganakelle. 

Truly, I ought to bow my neck to fashion's 
yoke ! It is not for myself that I should clothe 
me! Can't you, my good elder brother, — for, 
God be thanked, you are that (not to curtail 
you) by a score of years, — can't you, I say, in 
these respects, teach me the manners of your 
silly fops, force me to wear those little hats that 
flatten their weak brains, and those blond peri- 
wigs, of which the vast expansion hides the 
face, those scanty doublets ending at the arm- 
pits, and those huge collars reaching to the 
waist, those sleeves that dip into the gravies, 
those petticoats called breeches, those dainty 
shoes tricked out with ribbons that make you 



Scene I] L'feCOLE DES MARIS 149 

look like spur-heeled pigeons, and those enormous 
ruffles at the knees, in which, like fetters, you 
daily put your legs, compelling you to walk in 
straddles 1 Oh, yes ! 't would please you much, 
no doubt, to see me rigged in just the silly things 
I see you wear. 

Akiste. 
Well, we should all adopt the ways and 
customs of the greater number, and never make 
ourselves conspicuous. Extremes offend; and 
wise men ought to do with clotlies as they do 
with language — affect no mode, and yet, with- 
out pretension, follow the changes custom brings 
about. My feeling is, never to take the style 
of those we see exaggerating fashion, fools who 
would be distressed if others went beyond them 
in those extremes of which they are so fond. 
But I also think 't is wrong, no matter on what 
ground you base it, to stubbornly reject the 
customs of the world ; and, of the two, we 'd 
better join the company of fools than find our- 
selves alone, against them all, with wisdom. 

Sganarellb. 
Ha 1 how that savors of the aged man who, 
to impose upon us, hides his white hairs beneath 
a jet-black wig. 



150 L'ifeCOLE DES MARIS [Act I 

Akiste. 
'T is a strauge fact the pains you take to cast 
my age forever in my teeth! Why will you 
blame my apparel and my pleasures, as if old 
age, condemned to enjoy no more, should think 
of death alone, and were not hideous enough 
already without the further horror of being 
uncleanly and grim-visaged. 

Sganabbllb. 
However that may be, I am attached too 
firmly to my style of dress to give it up. I 
choose, in spite of fashion, to wear a hat that 
shelters my whole head, a doublet long enough 
to cover me and closed up as it should be, one 
that shall keep my stomach warm for digestion, 
breeches that fit my thighs, shoes in which my 
feet shall not be tortured, such as our fathers 
wisely wore ; and he who does not like to see 
me so can shut his eyes. 



SCENE SECOND 

LiONOR, IsABELLE, LisETTE ; Aeiste, and Sganae- 
ELLE, in front of stage, and not seen bij the others 

L^ONOR, to Isabelle. 
I '11 take it all upon myself, in case he scolds 
you. 



SckneU] L'f;COLE DES MARIS 151 

LiSBTTE to Isabelle. 
Kept always in the house and seeing no one ! 

Isabelle. 
That 's his way. 

LiONOB. 

I pity you, my sister. 

LiSETTE, to Leonor. 

Lucky for you his brother's nature is of 
another sort. Fate has been kind to let you 
fall into more reasonable hands. 

Isabelle. 
The wonder is he did not lock me up to-day, 
or take me with him. 

LiSETTE. 

Faith ! I 'd send hjm to the devil, he and 
his ruflf, and — 

Sganaeelle, jostled by Lisette. 
Where are you going, if I may ask 1 

Leonor. 
We don't know yet; I urged my sister to 
come out with us, to enjoy this lovely weather. 

Sganakelle, to Leonor. 
As for you, you can go where you like; 
(j>ointing to Lisette) you can gad everywhere, 



152 L'i)COLE DES MARIS [Act I 

the pair of you ; but you (to Isabelle), I have 
forbidden you to leave the house. 

Aeiste. 

Hey ! brother, let them amuse themselves. 

Sganarellb. 
Thanks for your advice ! 

Abiste. 
Youth needs — 

Sganabellb. 
Youth is foolish, and so, too often, is old 
age. 

Abiste. 
What harm can come to her with L^onor ? 

Sganabelle. 
None, perhaps ; but she is better off with me. 

Abiste. 
But — 

Sganabelle. 
Her actions should depend on me; I know 
the care I ought to take of them. 

Abiste. 
Have I less interest in her sister's conduct! 



SoBifBlI] L'fiCOLE DES MAEIS 153 

Sganarelle. 
Oh, heavens ! let us each act and reason as 
we please. These sisters have no parents; our 
friend their fatlier, on his dying bed, commit- 
ted them to you and me, charging us to marry 
them or, if we refused, to dispose of them to 
others; giving us, meanwhile, the power of 
father and husband over them. You took the 
charge of Leonor, I of Isabelle ; you govern 
yours as you think best ; leave me, I beg of you, 
to rule the other as I choose. 

Ariste. 
It seems to me — 

Sganabelle. 
It seems to me, and I proclaim it, that on 
this point 't is best to be explicit. You let your 
ward be gay and dress her daintily ; well, so be 
it! She has a maid and lacquey; I consent. 
She gads about, loves laziness, and is at liberty 
to dally with the sparks; I say no word against 
it. But I intend that mine shall live in my 
way, not in hers ; her clothes shall be of honest 
serge ; she shall wear black except on holy-days ; 
shut up at home she must, like every virtuous 
woman, attend to household matters; in her 
spare moments mend my linen or knit my socks ; 



154 L'tCOLE DES MARIS [Act I 

she must, moreover, close her ears to the talk 
of dandies and never leave the house except 
with some one to keep watch upon her. Flesh 
is weak; I know its dangers; and I do not 
intend to wear the horns if I can help it; her 
luck appoints that she shall marry me ; there- 
fore I 'm bound to answer for her, body and 
soul. 

ISABELLE. 

You have no reason, as I think, to — 

Sganarelle. 
Hold your tongue ; I '11 teach you to go out 
without me. 

L:6oNOB. 
But, monsieur — 

Sganaeelle. 
Madame , 't is not to you I 'm speaking ; you 
are too virtuous! 

L^ONOR. 

Do you object that she should be with me ? 

Sganarelle. 
Yes, I do; you injure her for me. I see I 
must speak plain ; your visits here displease me, 
and you '11 oblige me if you pay no more. 



Scene 11] L'i:COI-E DES MARIS 155 

Leonob. 

Will you allow my heart to speak as plainly 1 
I do not know how she may view all this, but 
I know what my feelings are, and we should 
scarce be sisters of one blood if your behavior 
to her day by day could make her love you. 

LiSETTE. 

In fact, the care you talk of is a shameful 
thing. Are we among the Turks wlio lock their 
women upl — for I have heard it said their 
wives are slaves, and that 's the reason Turks 
are cursed of God. Our honor, monsieur, must 
be weak indeed to need such ceaseless watching. 
Think you that such precautions, after all, will 
be a hindrance to our bad intentions ? And if we 
take a fancy in our heads do you suppose the 
cleverest man among you can't be foiled ? Such 
vigils are the dream of fools ; your safest way, 
I do assure you, is to trust us. He who mews 
us up will find himself in peril. Our honor 
much prefers to watch itself; and if you take 
such pains to hinder us from sinning, you put 
into our heads the wish to siu. If by a husband 
I were thus restrained I 'd feel a mighty long- 
ing to justify his fears. 



156 L'feCOLE DES MARIS [Act I 

Sganabelle, to Ariste. 

Behold, my fine preceptor, the result of 

your instructions ! Can you hear that without 

emotion 1 

Aeiste. 

Brother, such talk is only meant in jest; but 
there is truth in what she says. Her sex de- 
sires to enjoy a little freedom. 'T is a great 
mistake to treat it too austerely. Your distrust- 
ful cares and locks and bars can't make the 
virtue of our wives and daughters. Honor it 
is which holds them to their duty; not the 
severity with which we treat them. To speak 
to you quite frankly, the woman who is virtuous 
from constraint alone is an unnatural being; 
'twould be in vain to watch her every step. 
It is a woman's heart we ought to win. No 
matter what precautions I might take, I could 
not think my honor safe with one who only 
needed opportunity, if desires assailed her, to 
succumb. 

Sgaxarelle. 

All that is idle talk. 

Ariste. 
So be it; but I must always hold that we 
should train up youth in cheerfulness, gently 



Scene II] L'^COLE DES MARIS 157 

reprove its faults, and never frighten it with 
the name of virtue. These maxims I have fol- 
lowed in my care of Lienor. I have not made 
crimes of little freedoms; to all her girlish 
fancies I consent, and never, thank God, have 
I had reason to regret this course. I have al- 
lowed her to enjoy fine parties, pastimes, balls, 
and comedies. Such things are useful, as I 
think, to form young peoples' minds. The 
schooling of the world, in the atmosphere of 
which we have to live, gives better teaching, 
to my mind, than books. True, she is fond of 
buying ribbons, linen, clothes — why not ? I 
like to please her; those are- pleasures which 
we surely, having means, may grant to girls. 
Her father's will requires her to marry me ; but, 
for all that, I will not be a tyrant to her. Our 
years, I know, are out of due proportion, and I 
shall leave her free to choose. If my fortune of 
four thousand crowns a year, the utmost tender- 
ness, and a complying spirit should offset to her 
mind the inequality of age, then she shall marry 
me. If not, I mean that she shall choose else- 
where. I know that she might find a happier 
fate without me; and I would rather see her 
married to another than let her hand be given 
to me against her will. 



158 L'ilCOLE DES MARIS [Act I 

Sganabelle. 
Hey ! how sweet he is ! — sugar and honey 
both! 

Ariste. 

Well, 't is my nature, and I thank heaven 
for it. Never will I follow those harsh maxims 
which make our children count their fathers' 
days. 

Sganarelle. 

But all this freedom given to youth is not 
80 easily withdrawn. Her ways of thinking 
will not suit you when the time comes to 
change her mode of life. 

Ariste. 
Why should she change it 1 

Sganarelle. 
Why? 

Ariste. 
Yes. 

Sganarelle. 

That I can't say. 

Ariste. 
Honor is not injured by it. 

Sganarelle. 
What! if you marry her you mean to let her 
have tlie liberty we see her taking as a girl ? 



Scene II] L':feCOLB DBS MARIS 159 

Ariste. 
Why not? 

Sganarelle. 
Shall you be so complying as to let her keep 
her frippery and her mouches ? 

Ariste. 
Undoubtedly. 

Sgaxabelle. 
And suffer her, with giddy brains, to go to 
balls and places of assembly 1 

Ariste. 
Indeed I shall. 

Sganarelle. 

And let young sparks invade your house t 

Ariste. 
What then? 

Sganarelle. 
And play at cards and give her presents I 

Ariste. 
So be it. 

Sganarelle. 

And mak« her listen to their flatteries 1 

Ariste. 
I consent. 



160 L'i;COLE DES MARIS [Act I 

Sqanarelle. 
And you will look with tranquil eye upon 
the visits of these dandies? 

Aeiste. 
That 's understood. 

Sganarelle. 
You're an old fool. (To Isahelle) Go in; 
you shall hear no more of these outrageous 
precepts. 



SCENE THIRD 

ArUTB, SoaNAKELLE, LfeONOB, LlSETTB 

Akiste. 
I shall rely upon my wife's fidelity, and hope 
to live as I have always lived. 

Sganarellk. 
What pleasure I shall feel when his wife 
dupes him! 

Ariste. 

I know not for what fate my star gave birth 
to me, but this I know, if you escape what you 
predict for me, no one can say it is your doing. 
Your caution is all that 's needed to produce it. 



ScbmbIII] L'^COLE DES MARIS 161 

Sganakblle. 
Oh! laugh away, old scoffer; what can bo 
funnier than a sexagenary dupe? 

LiOKOR. 

I '11 guarantee him from that fate, if it be so 
he .takes my troth in marriage. He may be 
sure of that. But let me tell you that my soul, 
if I were your wife, would not pledge itself. 

LiSETTE. 

No ; conscience binds our souls to those who 
trust us; but promises are empty words to such 
as you. 

Sganabelle. 

Hush ! cursed tongue, ill-taught and insolent ! 

Ariste. 
Brother, you brought that silly talk upon 
yourself. Adieu. Cast off this temper, and 
be warned that to lock up a wife is ill-advised. 
I am your humble servant. 

Sganarellk. 
I 'm not yours. 



TOL. T. — 11 



162 L'i;COLE DES MARIS [Acil 

SCENE FOURTH 

Sganarellb, alone. 
Ha ! how well suited for each other I What 
a fine family they '11 make, — a ludicrous old 
man, playing the dandy with a withered body ; 
a masterful and most coquettish girl; impudent 
servants ! No, Wisdom herself would waste 
both sense and reason in striving to correct a 
household such as that. Isabelle would lose 
in their companionship the seeds of honor she 
has gained from me. That 1 '11 prevent, and 
take her back among the cabbages and turkeys. 



SCENE FIFTH 
YALi:RE, Erqaste, Soanab£lle 

ValAbe, at the back of the stage. 
There he is, Ergaste ! that Argus whom I 
hate; the cruel guardian of my love. 

Sganarelle, thinking himself alone. 
What can be more amazing than the corrup- 
tion of the morals of our present day ! 

VALiEE. 

I'd fain accost him if I could, and try to 
make acquaintance with him. 



ScbnbV] L'i;COLE DES MARIS 163 

f 

SaANABELLE, thinking himself alone. 

Instead of that stem rule wliich made the 
bulwark of our ancient honor, youth, now abso- 
lutely libertine, takes — 

VALifiE, bowing to Sganarelle at a distance. 
He does not see it is to him I bow. 

Ehgaste. 

Perhaps his worst eye is on this side ; let us 
try the other. 

Sganarelle, thinking himself alone. 

I shall leave the place; life in a town pro- 
duces in me — 

Val^re, coming nearer. 
I must try in some way to present myself. 

Sganarelle, listening. 

Eugh ! I thought that I heard voices. 

(Thinking himself alone.) In the country, 

thanks to heaven ! the follies of the time will 

not afflict my sight — 

• 
Ergaste, to Valere. 

Go up to him. 



164 L'i:COLE DES MARIS [Act I 

Sganaeelle, listening. 
Who's there? {^Hearing nothing more.) 
My ears are buzzing. There the pastimes of 
our wives are limited to — (^Sees Valere, who 
bows to him.) Is that to me? 

Ekgaste, to Valere. 
Gro nearer. 

Sgaxarelle, paying no attention to Valere. 

There, no popinjays can come — • ( Valere 
bows again.) What the devil I {Turns round 
and sees Ergaste, who bows to him on the 
other side.) Another ! What flourishing of 
hats! 

VALiKE. 

Monsieur, perhaps our salutations may dis- 
turb you. 

Sganarelle. 

Perhaps they do. 

Valere. 
But indeed, the honor of your acquaintance 
■would be to me so great a happiness, so sweet 
a pleasure, that I was seized with a desire to 
salute you. 

Sganarelle. 
So be it. 



Scene V] L'feCOLE DES MARIS 165 

Val^ke. 
And to say to you, without disguise, that I 
am wholly at your service. 

SOAKABELLE. 

I believe it. 

VALiRE. 

I have the great good fortune to be your 
neighbor ; for which I render thanks to fate. 

Sganarelle. 
Then you do well. 

ValJike. 
But, monsieur, have you heard the news they 
tell at court ] They say 't is true. 

Sganarelle. 
What 's that to me t 

Valere. 

Most people have some little curiosity for 
news. You'll surely go to see the fete pre- 
pared superbly for our Dauphin's birthday? 

Sganarelle. 
If I choose. 



166 L'feCOLE DES MARIS [Act! 

VALiRB. 

It must be owned that Paris affords us charm- 
ing pleasures which we cannot find elsewhere. 
The provinces are dull and solitary. How do 
you pass your time J 

Sganarellb. 
Minding my own affairs. 

VALiRE. 

But the mind needs relaxation ; it succumbs 
at times from close attention to our serious cares. 
In the evenings, what do you do before you go 
to bed? 

Sganaeblle. 

That which I please. 

ValIire. 

Of course ; no answer could be better ; good 
sense dictates that we should always do that 
which we please. If I did not fear your mind 
was too much occupied, I would go to see you 
sometimes after supper. 

SOANABELLE. 

Good -day to you. 



SoBNiiVI] L'iCOLE DES MARIS 167 

SCENE SIXTH 
V^iiiRE, Eeoastb 

Val^be. 
What do you think of that queer madman i 

Ergaste. 
He meets you like a were-wolf, and growls 
an answer. 

Val{!be. 
Ha ! I am furious. 

Ergaste. 
"What about? 

VALiKB. . 

What about, indeed ! I am furious to see 
the girl I love in the power of such a savage , — 
a watchful dragon whose severity does not allow 
her to enjoy one moment's liberty, 

Ergaste. 
But that is in your favor ; and on its conse- 
quences your love may found great hopes. Let 
me tell you, to support your mind, that a woman 
who is watched is partly won, and the black 
moods of husbands or of fathers are sure to 
advance the interests of a lover. I don't make 



168 L'l;COLE DES MARIS [Act 1 

love myself, 't is my least talent, but I have 
helped a score of others, and all declare their 
greatest luck came through the angry husbands, 
the sulky brutes who without sense or reason 
control the conduct of their wives, and, proudly 
conscious of the name of husband, scold them 
before the eyes of aspirants. That is the time, 
they say, to reap advantage ; the sharp vexation 
of the lady, whom the compassionate witness 
pities softly, is a fine held on which to push 
things onward. In short, the sternness of this 
cruel guardian is a good helper to your love. 

But for the four months I have loved her 
ardently I have never found one moment in 
which to speak with her. 

Ergaste. 
Love as a rule makes men inventive ; but you 
are not so. If I had been — 

VALtBE. 

Pray what would you have donel I tell you 
that this brute is always with her; and there 
are neither maids nor valets in the house, from 
whom the flattery of a little recompense might 
gain assistance. 



Scene VI] L':fcCOLE DES MARIS 169 

Ebgaste. 

Do you mean she does not yet know that you 
love her ? 

ValAbe. 

That is a point on which my hopes are not 
assured. Wlierever that sulky fellow takes her 
she sees me like a shadow by her side ; daily my 
eyes have tried to tell her the ardor of my love ; 
they have said much, but, alas ! I do not know 
if she has understood their language. 

Ebgaste. 

'T is true such language is at times obscure if 
it has no interpreter in voice or writing. 

ValIire. 
What can I do to escape this great anxiety 
and learn if Isabelle has guessed my love ? Show 
me some way. 

Ergaste. 
Ha! that is what we must discover. Let us 
go in a^ once, to ruminate it better. 



END OF FIRST ACT. 



170 L'feCOLE DES MARIS [Act H 



act Seconti 

SCENE FIRST 

ISABELLE, SGiLKARELLE 

Sganaeellb. 

Y ES, 1 know the house, also I know the man, 
from the description that your lips have given 
me. 

IsABELLE, aside. 

Oh, Heaven! be propitious to me, and help 
this artful stratagem of an innocent love ! 

Sganarelle. 
You say his name is Valere ? 

ISAEELLB. 

Yes. 

Sganarelle. 

Well, rest in peace; go to your room and 
leave the matter with me ; I '11 speak at once 
to that young rattle-pate. 

IsABELLE, aside as she goes away. 
It is a bold tiling for a girl to do ; but the 
unjust rigor with which he treats me will surely, 
to all upright minds, be my excuse. 



ScENB lU] L'feCOLE DES MAKIS 171 

SCENE SECOND 

Sganabelle, alone. 
I '11 lose no time. 'T is here. {Raps at 
Valere's door.) Who's there? Hola! I say, 
hoUt, there! some one! I should not be sur- 
prised, after what I 've heard, if this were he 
who met me lately in that specious way. Well, 
I must hasten to put his foolish hope — 



SCENE THIRD 

SOANARELLE, EbOASTE, VaL^RE 

SganareiiLE, to Ergaste who rushes out sud- 
denly. 

The devil take the clumsy ox who to upset 
me rushes between my legs in this way I 

VALiKE. 

Monsieur, I much regret — 

Sganarellk. 

Ha ! you are the man I seek, 

ValIibe. 
I, monsieur? 

Sganabelle. 

You. I think your name is Valke ? 



172 L':feCOLE DES MARIS [Act H 

ValIire. 

Yes 

Sganarelle. 

I have come to talk with you, if you '11 

permit. 

ValJ;re. 

Can I be fortunate enough to do you service ? 

Sganarelle. 

No; but I intend myself to do you a good 

turn, and that is what has brought me to your 

house. 

ValAke. 

To my house, monsieur t 

Sganarelle. 
Yes, to your house. Why are you so sur- 
prised 1 

Val^re. 

Have I not reason ? My soul, enchanted with 

this honor — 

Sganarelle. 

A truce to compliments, I beg of you. 

VALiEE. 

Will you come in 1 

Sganarelle. 
There is no occasion. 



ScbnbIII] L'fiCOLE DES MARIS 173 

ValAee. 
Monsieur, I entreat — 

Sganarelle. 
No, I shall not go farther. 

VALiRE. 

While you stay here I cannot listen to you. 

Sganarelle. 
I shall not budge. 

VALiRK. 

Well then, I 'm forced to yield. (Calls withiyi) 

Make haste, bring chairs, since monsieur is 

resolved — 

Sganarelle. 

I shall speak standing. 

ValAre. 

Oh! that I cannot suffer. 

Sganarelle 
Ha ! odious restraints ! 

ValAre. 
Such incivility would be intolerable. 

Sganarelle. 
'T is one far greater not to listen to those who 
wish to speak to us. 



174 L'feCOLE DES MARIS [Act II 

ValAee. 
Well, I '11 obey you, then. 

Sganarelle. 
You can't do better. {They go through 
great ceremonies about putting on their hats.) 
These forms are most unnecessary. Do you 
intend to listen to me? 

VALiRE. 

Undoubtedly ; with all my heart. 

Sganakelle. 
Are you aware, monsieur, that I am guardian 
of a rather young and passably good-looking girl, 
who lodges in this quarter and whose name is 
Isabelle ? 

ValAbe. 

Yes. 

Sganakelle. 

Well, if you know it I need not inform you. 
But do you also know that, having found her 
charms attractive, they touch me otherwise than 
as a guardian, and she is therefore destined to 
the honor of my bed? 

VALiRE. 

No. 



ScbnbIII] L'fiCOLE DES MARIS 175 

Sganaef.lle. 
Then I inform you of it; and it is proper 
that your pursuit should henceforth, if you 
please, leave her in peace. 

ValJ;ee. 
Pursuit! what, mine, monsieur? 

Sganarelle. 
Yes, yours. Let us he done with feigning. 

ValIke. 
Who told you that my heart was smitten hy 

her? 

Sganarelle. 

One in whose word I place belief. 

ValAee. 
But who ? 

Sganarelle. 

Herself. 

ValIire. 

She told you that ? 

Sganarelle. 

Yes, she herself. As a virtuous girl, who 

has loved me since her childhood, she has just 

told me this in perfect confidence. She charges 

me, moreover, to inform you tliat since you have 



176 L'ifeCOLE DES MARIS [Act II 

followed all her steps her heart, which your pur- 
suit has outraged, interprets hut too well the 
language of your eyes; your secret wishes are 
well-known to her, and she hids me say you 
give yourself superfluous trouble in trying to ex- 
press a love which affronts the friendship that 
she feels for me. 

ValAee. 

'T was she, you say, who made you — 
Sganarelle. 

Yes, who made me come to give you frankly 
this plain message: Seeing the ardor of your 
soul, she would have sooner let you know her 
mind could she have found a person to intrust 
with this commission. At last, the pain of such 
extreme constraint induces her to seek my help ; 
she wishes me to warn you that to all but me 
her heart is interdicted ; that your eyes have 
said enough, and if you have any brains at all 
you will take other courses. Adieu until we 
meet again ; I have said all I had to tell you. 

Val^ee, in a low tone. 
Ergaste, what think you of this strange 

affair 1 

Sganaeelle, aside. 

He is quite dumfouuded. 



ScbseIV] L'tCOLE DES MARIS 177 

Ergaste, low to Vulere. 
As I conjecture, there 's nothing in all this 
that need alarm you. I think that some sly 
mystery lies beneath it, for I am certain such 
advice is not from one who wants to see the 
love you give her cease. 

Sganarelle, aside. 
He takes the warning as he ought. 

ValJiee, low to Ergaste. 
You think a secret meaning — 

Ergaste, low to Valere. 
Yes, but he 's watching us ; let us go in and 
so escape his eyes. 



SCENE FOURTH 

Sganarelle, alone. 
How his confusion shows upon his face ! he 
little thought, no doubt, to get that message. I 
must call Isabelle. She shows the fruit that 
education ripens in the soul. Virtue is all her 
care ; in that her soul is so absorbed that the 
mere glances of a man offend her. 

VOL. V. — 12 



178 L'iCOLE DES MAKIS [Act 11 

SCENE FIFTH 

ISABELLE, SOANARELLB 

IsABELLE, in a low voice as she enters. 
I fear that Val6re, full of his own passion, 
may not perceive the meaning of my message. 
Dare I, imprisoned in these fetters, risk another 
•which will speak more clearly i 

Sganarelle. 
I have returned. 

ISABELLE. 

What happened 1 

Sganabelle. 
A great effect followed your message; the 
man has had his dose. He tried, at first, to 
deny his heart was sick; hut when I told him 
I was your ambassador he stopped, quite silent 
and confused. I think he '11 not recover from 
that blow. 

IsABELLE. 

Ah ! do not trust to that ! on the contrary, I 
fear that he will only plan some fresh attempt. . 

Sganabelle. 
What reason have you to say that 1 



Scene V] L':feCOLE DES MARIS 179 

ISABELLE. 

You had scarcely left the house when, sitting 
at my window to get the air, I saw a young man 
in the alley who, all at once, gave me a most 
surprising salutation on the part of that imper- 
tinent Valfere. He flung a box straight through 
my window, and in it was a letter, sealed. I 
tried to throw it back at once, but already he 
was half-way down the street. My heart, I 
felt within me, swelled with anger. 

Sganarelle. 
Just gee the sly rascality of that ! 

ISABELLE. 

It is my duty to return both box and letter to 
that insulting lover. Where can I find a man 
to take them ? for I dare not ask that you — 

Sganakelle. 

On the contrary, my dearest, it only proves 
to me the more your love and your fidelity. 
My heart accepts the errand with delight, and 
you have pleased me more than I can say. 

IsABELLE, giving him the box. 
Then here they are. 



180 L'ifeCOLE DES MARIS [Act II 

Sganabelle. 
Good. Now let us see what he has dared to 
write to you. 

ISABELLE. 

Oh, heavens, no ! be sure you do not open it. 

Sganabelle. 
Why not? 

ISABELLE. 

He would think that I had done so. No girl 
of honor would ever read tlie letters of a man if 
sent in that way ; the curiosity that made her 
do so would show a secret pleasure in the 
act. I think it right his letter be returned at 
once, the seal unbroken, that he may know 
without delay the marked contempt my honor 
feels for him. His love will thenceforth lose 
all hope, and try no more such futile stratagems. 

Sganabelle. 

She is right in what she says. Yes, love, 

your virtue charms me, and your prudence too. 

I see my lessons budding in your soul; you 

prove yourself most worthy to become my wife. 

ISABELLE. 

But still I would not thwart your wishes. 
The letter is in your hands and you can open it. 



Scene VII] L'flCOLE DES MARIS 181 

Sganarelle. 
No, no, I do not wish to do so; your reasons 
are too good. I shall go now and execute the 
errand that you give me ; 't is only a few steps 
from here, and a few words are all I need to 
say; then I'll return to set your mind at rest. 

SCENE SIXTH 

Sganarelle, alone. 
In what delight my soul doth float when I con- 
template so much virtue ! A treasury of honor 
in my house 1 To think a look of love an out- 
rage ! to receive a lover's letter as an insult ! and 
so return it, by myself, unopened, to the gallant ! 
I wonder if my brother's ward would do the 
same. Upon my word ! girls are precisely what 
we make them be. {Baps on Val&re's door.) 
Hola! 



SCENE SEVENTH 
Sganarelle, Ergaste 

Ebgaste. 
Whoiaiti 

Sganakelle. 

Here, tell your master not to dare to write 

more letters and send them in these gilded 



182 L'feCOLE DES MARIS [Act H 

boxes, for Isabelle is greatly irritated. See, 
she would not even break the seal; he can 
judge by that the value that she puts upon his 
love, and what success he may. expect to win. 
(Gives Ergaste the box and letter.') 



SCENE EIGHTH 
VxiiiRE, Ergaste 

ValAke. 
What has that sulky brute just given you ? 

Eegastb. 
This letter, monsieur, and this box, declaring 
that Isabelle has just received them from you 
with great displeasure. She would not even, so 
he says, unseal the letter. Pray read it quickly 
and let me see if I 'm mistaken in my thoughts. 

VALiRE reads. 
" This letter will no doubt surprise you. The 
intention of writing it and the manner in which 
I send it may both seem very bold. But I find 
myself placed in a position where I can no longer 
regard appearances. The just horror of a mar- 
riage with which I am threatened in six days 
obliges me to risk all things; and being resolved 



SckneVIII] L'f:COLE DES MARIS 183 

to escape it in some way, no matter what, I 
have thought that I might choose you rather 
than choose despair. But do not think that you 
owe this wholly to my unfortunate destiny. It is 
not the constraint which I endure that has given 
hirth to my feelings for you ; although it is that 
which has forced me to testify them, and to lay 
aside the forms and proprieties which my sex 
should regard. It now depends on you to say if I 
shall soon he yours ; I wait only until you let me 
know the intentions of your love to let you know 
in turn the resolution I have come to. I beg 
you to remember that time presses; and that 
two hearts which love each other need but half 
• a word to tell their meaning." 

Ergaste 

Hey ! monsieur, what say you ? Is n't the trick 
original t She 's none so ignorant for a mere 
young girl ! but who 'd have thought her capable 
of these frauds of love ? 

ValAre. 

Ah ! she is adorable ! This token of her mind 
and love doubles my tenderness, and adds to 
all the other sentiments her beauty inspires in 
my — 



184 L'feCOLE DES MARIS [Act n 

Ergaste. 
Hush ! the dupe returns ; reflect on what you 
have to say to him. 



SCENE NINTH 

SOANARELLE, VaL^IRE, EsOABTE 

Sganakelle, thinking himself alone. 
Oh, douhly, trebly blest this edict by which 
the luxury of women's dress is now prohibited. 
The trials of husbands will cease to be so heavy, 
for wives will find a curb on their demands. 
Oh, how I thank the king for this decree ! I 
only wish that he would do for coquetry what 
he now has done for guipure and for filagree. 
I 've bought a copy of this edict, that Isabelle 
may read it out aloud ; it shall be made, in place 
of other entertainments, the occupation of our 
evenings after supper. {Sees Valere.) Ha, 
my fair-haired dandy ! will you still send your 
billets-doux in golden boxes ? Do you think my 
lady is a young coquette, craving intrigue and 
open to your flattery ? You saw with what an 
air she took your missive ; trust me, you 're 
wasting powder on the sparrows! She loves 
me, she is virtuous, and your courtship angers 



Scene IX] L'ifcCOLE DES MARIS 185 

her. Take aim elsewhere, and leave this field, 
you and your baggage. 

Val^re. 

Yes, yes ; your merit, to which all must bow, 

is to my mind an obstacle too great. 'T would 

be indeed a folly if my faithful love dared to 

compete with yours for the heart of Isabelle. 

Sganaeelle. 
Yes, truly, a great folly. 

Val^ke. 
In fact, had I but known that my poor heart 
■would find a rival so redoubtable, I never would 
have let it yield to the allurement of her 

charms. 

Sganaeelle. 

That I believe. 

Val^re. 

I have no further hope. Monsieur, I yield 

to you ; and I do it without a murmur. 

Sganaeelle. 
You do well. 

VALiiBE. 

The laws of fate ordain it; so many virtues 
radiate from your person I should do wrong to 
view with angry eye the tender sentiments that 
Isabelle feels for you. 



186 L'feCOLE DES MARIS [Act 11 

Sganakellb. 
Of course ; that 's understood. 

VALiBK. 

Yes, yes, I leave the field to you; but I 
entreat (and 't is the only favor, monsieur, that 
a wretched lover whose misery you have caused 
will ask of you), I entreat you to tell Isabella 
that while my heart for three months past has 
worshipped her, that love is stainless and has 
never once thought a single thing that could 
offend her honor — 

Sganaeellk. 

Yes. 

Val^ke. 

That, following the instincts of my soul, my 
purpose was to obtain her for my wife if fate 
had not opposed in you, who captivate her 
heart, an obstacle to this great hope — 

Sganarelle. 
Yes, certainly. 

VALisE. 

And that, whatever happens, she must not 
think her charms can leave my memory; no 
matter to what pain the heavens condemn me, 
it is my fate to love her until death ; and, that 



Scene Xq L'tCOLE DES MARIS 187 

if anything now stops my suit it is the just 
respect your virtues merit. 

Sganarelle. 

That is sound talk. I '11 go at once and say 

those words to Isabella, for they will not 

displease her. But, take my advice, endeavor 

if you can, to tear this passion 'from your heart. 

Adieu. 

Ergaste, to Valere. 

Well duped, indeed ! 



SCENE TENTH 

Sganarelle, alone. 
I pity him, poor wretch ! so full of love ! 
Ha ! 't was an evil day for him when the fancy 
seized him to take a fort I had already won I 



SCENE ELEVENTH 

SOANABELLE, IsABELLE 

Sganarelle. 
No lover ever showed such trouble as he 
when I returned his letter still unopened. He 
lost all hope at once and so withdrew, conjuring 



188 L'fiCOLE DES MARIS [Act II 

me to give you his last message, namely: 
that in loving you he never once had thought 
a thing that could offend your honor ; following 
the instincts of his heart, his sole desire was to 
obtain you for his wife if fate had not opposed, 
in me who captivate your heart, an obstacle; 
and also, he bid me say, no matter what may 
happen, you must not think that he can love you 
less, because, whatever pain the heavens inflict 
upoti him, it is his fate to love you until death ; 
and that if anything now stops his suit it is the 
just respect my virtues merit. Those are his 
very words, and, far from blaming him, I think 
him an honest man and pity him for loving 
you. 

IsABELLB, aside. 

His love does not betray my secret trust; 
his eyes have always told me it was innocent. 

Sganaeelle. 
What did you say 1 

ISABELLE. 

That it is hard to find you pity one whom 
I hate worse than death; and if you loved 
me as you say you do, you 'd feel the affront 
to me of such a suit. 



ScBKK XI] L'tCOLE DES MARIS 189 

Sganarelle. 
But he was not aware you loved me; and 
I think that, his intentions being virtuous, his 
love does not deserve — 

ISABELLE. 

Is it virtuous, tell me, to abduct a woman? 

Would a man of honour form a design to tear 

me from your hands and marry me by force? 

As if I were a girl to bear my life after such 

infamy ! 

Sganarelle. 

What is it you mean 1 

Isabelle. 

Yes, I am told that traitorous lover talks 
of obtaining me by treachery. I don't know 
by what secret means he knows that you intend 
to give your hand to me within a week — for 
't was only yesterday you told me of it ; but he 
has found it out, and will forestall, he says, 
the day that would unite my life to yours. 

Sganarelle. 
All that means nothing. 

Isabelle. 
Oh! pardon me, I beg; a very virtuous man, 
I know ! who only feels for me — 



190 L':fcCOLE DES MARIS [Act II 

Sganarelle. 
YeB, he was •wrong ; but do not jest in that 
way. 

ISABELLE. 

Your gentleness maintains his folly. If you 
had spoken sharply from the first he would 
have feared your wrath and my resentment. 
'T is since his letter was returned that he has 
formed the scheme of seizing me. His love 
persists, so I have heard, in thinking I would 
flee this marriage, and that, no matter what I 
say, I should rejoice if he would drag me from 
your arms. 

Sganabelle. 

He must be mad. 

IsabelijE. 

To you he plays a part ; his object is to fool 
you. I beg you to believe this traitor seeks 
only to delude you by those speeches. I am 
indeed unfortunate, since, witli all the care I 
take to live with honor and rebuff the advances 
of a base seducer, I 'm still exposed to other 
and worse enterprises, 

Sganarelle. 
Dearest, fear nothing. 



Scene XI] L':fcCOLE DES MARIS 191 

IsABELLE. 

I tell you frankly, that if you do not take 

some steps against this bold design, and find 

8ome means to rid me of this man's persecution, 

I will abandon everything, and fly from these 

affronts. I — 

Sganakelle. 

Don't fret so much, my little wife ; I 'H seek 
him out and teach hini a good lesson. 

IsABELLE. 

Tell him from me it is in vain that he denies 
the scheme ; I know it on good authority ; and, 
being thus warned, no matter what he under- 
takes to do I defy him to take me unawares. 
TeU him 't is useless to waste time and sighs 
now that he knows my sentiments from you; 
and if he does not wish to cause a great misfor- 
tune he will not need to have a thing said twice. 

Sganakelle. 
I will say all that 's necessary. 

IsABELLE. 

But say it in such a tone that he will see I 

mean it. 

Sganaeelle. 

I '11 forget nothing ; that I promise yon. 



192 L'i:COLE DES MARIS [Act U 

ISABELLE. 

I shall await you with impatience. Make 
haste, I beg of you ; I languish in the moments 
of your absence. 

Sganarelle. 
Yes, dear heart, my darling! I'll return at 
once. 



SCENE TWELFTH 
Sganarelle, alone. 
Is there a better or more virtuous girl ? Ah ! 
I am happy ; what joy to find a wife who equals 
all my wishes! Yes, this is what a woman 
should be; no fine coquette, like some I know 
who make themselves town-talk until half Paris 
points the finger at their honest husbands. 
{Raps at Valere' s door.) Hoik I my enterprising 

gallant ! 

» 

SCENE THIRTEENTH 
Yal^be, Sganarelle, Eboaste 

VALiBE. 

Monsieur, what brings you here again t 

Sganabelle. 

Your follies. 



Scene XIII] L':feCOLE DES MARIS 193 

VALilRE. 

How? 

Sganakelle. 

You know what I mean. I thought you 
wiser. You tried to fool me with fine speeches, 
and all the while were keeping underhand your 
crazy hopes. I wished to treat you kindly, but 
you have forced me finally to wrath. Are you 
not ashamed, being what you are, to turn your 
mind to such a project 1 How can you venture 
to abduct a virtuous girl and thwart a marriage 
which makes all her happiness? 

VALiRE. 

Monsieur, who told you this strange tale ? 

Sganarellb. 
I, at least, shall not dissemble ; 't was Isabella, 
who, for the last time, sends you word by me 
that she has shown you plainly whom she 
chooses; that her heart, now wholly mine, is 
shocked by such a project; that she will die 
sooner than bear this horror, and you will cause 
some terrible misfortune unless you put an end 
at once to these embarrassments. 

Val^re. 
If it be true that she said that, my love has 
nothing more to seek. In those plain words I 

VOL. V. — 13 



194 L':feCOLE DES MARIS [Act 11 

see that all must terminate, and I revere the 
order that she gives me. 

Sgakabelle. 
If it he true ! Then do you doubt it, and 
think I feign the indignation that she sends 
through me t Do you desire that she herself 
should explain her heart to youl I willingly 
consent. Come with me ; and you shall see if I 
have warned you truly, and whether her young 
heart can hesitate between us. {Raps at his 

own door.) 

— »— ■ 

SCENE FOURTEENTH 

ISABBLLE, SOANARELLE, VALfeRB, EbGASTB 
ISABELLE. 

What! have you brought him here! With 
what intention? Do you take his cause in 
hand against me! and will you, charmed with 
his rare merits, force me to love him and admit 
his visits? 

Sganarelle. 

No, my love, your heart is far too dear to me 
for that. But the warnings I liave given him 
from you he thinks improbable ; believes 't is I 
who speak, and put into your mouth this hatred 



ScbnbXIV] L'fiCOLE DES MARIS 195 

for himself and love for me. So now I wish to 
draw him, once for all, by you, from that mis- 
taken thought which feeds his love. 

IsABELLE, to Valere. 
Is not my soul laid bare before your eyes? 
Can you still doubt my wishes? 

VALiRE. 

Yes; for all that has been told me in your 
name, madams, may well surprise me. I have 
doubted it, I own; and this supreme decision 
which now decides the fate of my great love 
must be so agitating to me that I think you can- 
not take offence if my heart pleads that you will 
give it twice. 

ISABELLE. 

But that decision ought not to surprise you; 
those are my sentiments he made you hear; I 
hold them founded on such equity that I may 
openly proclaim them. Yes, I desire to make 
known, and hope to be believed, that fate has 
offered two persons to my choice, who, by the 
different feelings they inspire in me, cause all 
the emotions of my troubled heart. One, by a 
righteous choice where honor guides me, has all 
my tenderness and my respect; the other, in 
return for liis affection has my just anger and 



196 L'feCOLE DES MARIS [Act H 

my deep aversion. The presence of the one is 
dear and pleasing to me, it fills my soul with 
perfect gladness ; the other, by the mere sight of 
him, inspires within my heart strange secret 
impulses of hate and horror. To see myself the 
wife of one is all my hope; and rather than 
belong to him I loathe, I 'd lose my life. I have 
said enough to show my righteous feelings ; and 
now, for I have suffered too long these cruel 
torments, the one I love, using all diligence, 
should cause the one I hate to give up hope, 
and by a happy marriage free my fate from tor- 
tures which to me are worse than death. 

Sganarelle. 
Yes, darling, I intend to satisfy those wishes. 

ISABELLE. 

It is the only way to make me happy. 

Sganarelle. 
Ah ! you shall soon be that. 

IsABELLE. 

I know it may seem shameful for a girl thus 
to express her feelings — 

Sganarelle. 
No, no! 



ScknbXIV] L'feCOLE DES MARIS 197 

ISABELLE. 

But in the pass to which my fate has brought 
me, such freedom ought to be allowed ; I feel I 
may, without a blusli, make this avowal to one 
whom I already look to as my husband — 

Sganaeelle. 
Yes, my poor darling, treasure of my heart ! 

ISABELLB. 

And I ask him now, for pity's sake, to prove 
his love — 

Sganaeelle. 
Yes, sweetest, kiss my hand. 

Isabelle. 

And, without more delay, conclude a marriage 
which is my only hope. (Turns to Sganarelle 
as if to embrace him, but gives her hand to 
Valere.) 

Sganarelle. 

Yes, yes, my child, my little darling, you 
shall not languish long, I promise you. (To 
Valere) Now go ; you see I did not make her 
speak. 'T was she herself, and her whole soul 
aspires to me alone. 



198 L'fiCOLE DES MARIS [Act 11 

VALiEE. 

Madame, enough explained! I see by these 
few words to what you urge me, and I will 
shortly rid you of the sight of him who is repug- 
nant to your soul. 

ISABELLE. 

You cannot give me greater pleasure; that 
sight indeed is hard to bear ; in fact, 't is odious, 
and the horror that 1 feel — 

Sganarblle. 
Hey, hey! 

ISABELLE. 

Does that offend yon? Must I — 

Sganaeelle. 

No, no, my dear, I don't say that; and yet, 
to tell the truth, I pity him, and think your 
hatred is too plainly shown. 

ISABELLE. 

I cannot show it less in such a meeting. 

VALiRE. 

Yes, you shall be content ; within three days 
your eyes shall see no more the object which 
you loathe. 



ScbnbXV] L'i:COLE DES MARIS 



199 



ISABELLE. 

Then all is well. Adieu. 

Sganarelle, to Valere. 
I pity your misfortune ; but — 

VALiRE. 

Fo, no, you'll hear no groans from me. 
Madame does justice on both of us. I leave 
you now to make my plans and carry out her 
wishes. Adieu. 

Sganarelle. 

Poor lad! his grief is great. Embrace me. 
(Embraces Valere.) , 

SCENE FIFTEENTH 

ISABELLE, SoiU(ABELLX 

Sganarelle. 
I think him greatly to be pitied. 

ISABELLE. 

Oh, no ! he 's not. 

Sganarelle. 

Your love has touched me to the quick, my 
darling, and I desire to reward it. Eight days 



200 



L'feCOLE DES MAEIS 



[Act II 



is far too long for your impatience ; to-morrow I 
will marry you, and not invite — 

ISABBIiLB, 

To-morrow ! 

Sganarelle. 

Ah ! modesty, I see, will make you feign reluc- 
tance. But I know the joy that fills your 
heart; you wish the thing were done already. 



ISABELLE. 



But- 



Sganarelle. 
Now let us go and make our preparations. 

IsABELLS, aside. 
Oh, Heaven ! inspire me with some defence. 



END OP SECOND ACT. 



ScENBiq L':feCOLE DES MARIS 201 



act 2rf)(tu 

SCENE FIEST 

IsABELLE, alone, in the street. 

YES, death seems infinitely less to fear than 
this most fatal marriage to which his will con- 
strains me ; and what I do to escape its horrors 
ought to find mercy from my censors. Time 
presses; it is dark; I go, without a fear, to 
trust my future to a lover's honor. 



SCENE SECOND 
SoanjIbelle, Isabelle 

Sganabelle, speaking to those within. 
I shall soon return ; to-morrow is to be — 

Isabelle. 
Oh, Heaven! 

Sganarelle. 
What ! is that you, my pretty one 1 Where 
are you going so late ? You told me you were 
weary, and should retire to your room after I 
left you ; you even asked me to suffer you, when 
I returned, to rest until to-morrow. 



202 L'feCOLE DES MARIS [Act III 

ISABELLE. 

'T is true ; but — 

Sganaeellb. 
But what? 

ISABELLE. 

I am quite confused; I don't know how to 
tell you my excuse. 

Sganarelle. 
How so t What can it be ? 

IsABELLE. 

Oh! a surprising secret; it is my sister who 
compels me to go out, and who, for a purpose 
that I greatly blame, is in my chamber, where 
I have shut her up. 

Sganarelle. 
What! 

Isabelle. 

Would you believe it 1 — she loves the gallant 
we have lately banished. 

Sgakabellb. 
Val^re? 

Isabelle. 

Distractedly. Her passion is so great there 's 
nothing like it, and you can judge what power 



Scene II] L'fiCOLE DES MARIS 203 

it has since she has come by night to tell me of 
it, and say she cannot live unless her soul ob- 
tains the joy she covets. It seems that for a 
year or more, before he knew me, their hearts 
held secret commerce ; in fact, their love being 
young, they had pledged their mutual faith to 
marry — 

Sganaeellb. 

Oh, the hussy ! 

ISABELLE. 

And now, having heard of the despair into 
which I 've cast the man she loves, she came 
to-night to beg that I would help her to renew 
a tie the loss of which has pierced her soul; 
and sufiFer her to see this lover, under my name, 
in the little alley 'neath my window ; that she 
may tell him, in a voice like mine, the tender 
sentiments she still retains, so that to her the 
love he since has felt for me may turn again. 

Sganaeelle. 
And you think all that — 

ISABELLE. 

I? I am outraged by it. "Sister," I said, 
" you must be crazy. Do you not blush to feel 
this love for the sort of man who changes daily ? 
Have you forgot your sex, and would you cheat 



204 L'feCOLE DES MARIS [Act HI 

the hopes of him whom heaven itself has given 
you in marriage 1 

Sganarelle. 
Ha ! he deserves all this, and I am glad of it. 

ISABELLE. 

In short, I gave her many reasons why I 
should reject her prayer, reproaching her for 
such base treachery. But still she urged her 
ardent wishes; she wept, she sighed, and said 
80 often that I should drive her to despair if I 
denied this comfort to her heart, that I was 
forced to yield, in spite of ray own judgment. 
And now, to justify this sly intrigue, I was on 
my way to fetch Lucrece (whose virtues you 
have praised to me so often) to come and sleep 
with me — but you 'vo surprised me by your 
quick return. 

Sganarejlle. 

No, no ; I will not have this mystery in my 
house. I might consent if it concerned my brother 
only, but some one on the way may see you; 
she whom I honor with my hand must not 
be merely chaste, but unsuspected. Come, let 
us send away this worthless girl, her, and her 
passion ! 



ScBUBlI] L'fiCOLE DBS MABIS 205 

ISABELLE. 

■Ah ! that would humble her too much ; and she 
would have the right to blame me for the small 
restraint I 've put upon my tongue. If she 
must go, let me at least dismiss her by myself. 

Sganarelle. 
Well, well, so be it. 

ISABELLE. 

But hide yourself, I beg of you ; say nothing 
to her when she leaves the house. 

Sganarelle. 
Yes, for your sake I will restrain my wrath. 
But the moment she has left the house I shall 
seek my brother — Oh, the joy of telling 
him all this. 

ISABELLE. 

But do not name me, I conjure you. Good- 
night. I '11 do your bidding, and will then 

retire. 

Sganarelle. 

Adieu until to-morrow, darling. (Alone) With 
what impatience I shall seek my brother and tell 
him his mischance ! He can't stand this, old 
man, for all his fustian. I would not lose this 
luck for twenty crowns I 



206 L'iCOLE DES MARIS [Act Ul 

IsABELLE speaking within. 
Yes, I feel for your distress, but what you 
ask me, sister, is impossible. My honor is too 
dear to me to run so great a risk. Adieu ; go 
now, before 't is any later. 

Sganarelle, in a low voice. 
She comes, I think, and angry too. I '11 
look the door for fear she should return. 

IsABELLE, in a low voice, coming out. 
Oh, Heaven ! do not abandon me in this 

attempt. 

Sganakelle, aside. 

Where is she going ! I will follow her. 

IsABELLE, aside. 

The darkness favors me, at least. 

Sganakelle. 

To Valfere's house ! With what intention 1 



SCENE THIRD 

VAlJiBE, ISABGLLE, SOANARBLLB 

ValIire, coming out hastily. 
Yes, I must make a strong attempt to-night to 
speak to — Who's there J 



ScBifBUI] L':feCOLE DES MARIS 207 

IsABELLE, to Valere. 

Don't make a noise, Valere; 'tis I, 'tis 
Isabelle. 

Sganaeelle, aside. 

A lie, you slut! t/ou are not she; the honor 
that you cast aside she follows and obeys; you 
have taken falsely both her voice and name. 

Isabelle, to Valere. 
But — unless by sacred marriage you — 

VALiEE. 

That is the one sole purpose of my life ; and 
here I pledge my honor that to-morrow we will 
go where it can be performed. 

Sganabelle, aside. 
Poor fool who thus deceives himself! 

ValIire. 
Enter my house with confidence. I '11 brave 
the power of your duped Argus, and sooner than 
let him take you from my love, I 'd stab him 
to the heart a thousand times. 



208 L'feCOLE DES MARIS [Act m 

SCENE FOURTH 
Sganarelle, alone. 
Ha! I promise you that I've no wish to part 
your loves. Infamous creature ! I am not jeal- 
ous of the gift she makes you. — But now, let 
us sui-prise him with that brazen girl at once ; 
the memory of her father, so respected, joined 
to my interest in her sister, requires that we 
try to save at least her honor. (Saps on the 
door of a commissary.) Hola ! 



SCENE FIFTH 

Sganarelle, a Commissabt, a Notary, a Lacqcet 
with a torch 

COMMISSAEY. 

Who 's there 1 

Sganarelle. 

Good evening. Commissary; your presence 
in official robe is needed. Follow me, if you 
please, and bring a light. 

Commissary. 
Where are we going 1 

Sganarelle. 
Where haste is needed. 



ScenbV] L'feCOLE DES MARIS 209 

COMMISSAEY. 

For what! 

Sganaeellk 

To enter a house, and there surprise two 
persons who must be married instantly. One is 
a girl belonging to our family, whom, trusting to 
his honor, a certain Valfere has seduced and 
taken to his house. Her family is noble and 
most virtuous, but — 

Commissary. 
If that 's the case, all things combine, for 
here 's a notary. 

Sganaeelle. 

Monsieur 1 

Notary. 

Yes, a notary of the royal court. 

Commissary. 
And what is more, a man of honor. 

Sganarelle. 
Tou need not tell me that. Enter this house 
and, without noise, keep watch that no one 
leaves it. You shall he well rewarded for your 
trouble ; b\it do not let your paws be greased. 

VOL. V. — 14 



210 L'feCOLE BES MARIS [Act HI 

Commissi ET. 

What ! do you think a man whose business 

'tis to enforce the laws — 

Sganabelle. 

"What I have said does not accuse your office. 

I must now proceed to find my brother, and 

bring him here. (Aside) I '11 stir him up, that 

man who is never angry ! {Baps on Ariste's 

door.) Hoiai 

— »— 

SCENE SIXTH 
AsisTE, Sganarellb 

Ariste. 
Who knocks 1 Ha, brother ! what may you 
want with me 1 

Sganarelle. 
Come, smart professor, superannuated fop, I 
want to show you something fine. 

Ariste. 

What is it? 

Sganarelle. 

I bring great news ! 

Ariste. 
But what 1 



Scene VI] L'fiCOLE DES MAEIS 211 

Sganabelle. 

Your Leonor, where is she 1 Please to say. 

Abiste. 

Why this inquiry? She is at a hall, as I 
believe, among her friends. 

Sganabelle. 
Ha, ha ! yes, yes ! — follow me, and you shall 
see the sort of hall the damozel attends. 

Abiste. 

What is all this? 

Sganaeelle. 

You 've trained her well ! Oh, no, it is not 
good to be too stern a censor ! We should rule 
minds by gentleness; distrustful vigilance and 
bolts and bars can't make the virtue of our wives 
and daughters! We drive them into evil by 
austerity ! Their sex requires a little liberty ! 
Ha, the sly thing! she takes her fill; virtue in 
her is highly human I 

Abiste. 
What is the object of this strange discourse J 

Sganaeelle. 
Ha ! my good elder brother, here 's your re- 
ward; I would not, for a score of pistoles, 



212 L'tCOLE DES MARIS [Act HI 

deprive you of this fruit of your mad maxims. 
Now we see the effect our lessons have produced 
on the two sisters : one flees a gallant, and the 
other seeks him. 

Ariste. 
But if you do not make the enigma plainer — 

Sganabelle. 
The enigma is that her hall is in the house of 
Monsieur Val6re ; to-night I saw her go there ; 
and at this present moment she is in his arms. 



Who? 
L^onor. 



Abistb. 
Sganarellb. 



Ariste. 
Cease this jesting, I request you. 

Sganabelle. 
I jest! — ho! that is good; jesting indeed! 
Poor soul! I told you, and I tell it once 
again, that Valfere has your L^onor with him. 
It seems they pledged their mutual faith before 
he ever thought of courting Isabelle. 

Ariste. 
This tale is so improbable — 



ScenbVI] L'fiCOLE DES MARIS 213 

Sganarelle. 

He '11 not believe it till he sees it ! I am furi- 
ous! Old age, i' faith, is good for nothing if 
you have nothing here (taps his forehead) . 

Aeiste. 
Brother, what is it you want ? 

Sganarelle. 
Oh! I want nothing. Follow me yourself, 
and you shall be convinced ; you '11 see if I 've 
imposed upon you, and if their hearts have not 
been joined a year or more. 

Aristb. 

It is not likely she would have pledged her- 
self to this engagement without informing me, 
who have in all things, since her infancy, shown 
her the utmost kindness, protesting, a hundred 
times, that I would never thwart her inclinations. 

Sganarelle. 
Well, your eyes shall judge the matter for 
themselves. I have already fetched both notary 
and commissary to the house ; it is our interest 
that the honor she has lost be instantly restored 
by marriage; for I think you'll hardly be so 
base as to take her now with such a stain upon 



214 L']&COLE DES MARIS [Act III 

her, — unless, indeed, you have a few more argu- 
ments with which to rise above the jeers of men. 

Aeiste. 

No, I should never have the weakness to 

wish to own a heart against its will. But I do 

not believe — 

Sganakelle. 

Ho ! the same talk ; well, well ! he '11 keep 
these notions up forever. 



SCENE SEVENTH 

SOAFAKBLLB, ArISTB, A COMMI88ABT, A NOTAET 

Commissary. 

Messieurs, no force can here be used. If 

your desires are merely for the marriage, your 

anger can be pacified at once. Both parties wish 

to marry, and Monsieur Valfere has signed the 

notice that he takes to wife the person who is 

with him in the house. 

Ariste. 
The girl — I 

COMMISSART. 

Yes, she is there ; but says she will not leave 
the house until your wishes will consent to 
theirs. 



Commissary. Messieurs, no force can 
here be used. 

L'KCOLE DES MARIS, Act III., Sc. vii. 
VOL. v., fage 214 



ftobKisn^, <)tem»-^ .,' ;/■ ..<;.'■ 



ScemeVIII] L'feCOLE DBS MARIS 215 

SCENE EIGHTH 
VALiRB, Commissary, Notary, Ariste, Sganarbllb 

ValIire. 
No, messieurs, neither of you can enter here 
till your consent be given. You know me, who 
I am ; I have done my duty in signing the docu- 
ment which the notary will show yoiL If it 
be your intention to approve this marriage, yoii 
■will put your signatures to that assurance. If 
not, you shall take my life before you take away 
from me the object of my love. 

Sganaeellb. 

We have no wish to part you from each other. 
(Aside) He has not yet discovered she is 
Lienor ! I '11 profit by that blunder. 

Ariste, to Valere. 

But is she L^onor 1 

Sqanarelle, to Ariste in a low voice. 

Hush! hush! 

Ariste. 
But — 

Sganaeellb. 

Hush, I say. 

Ariste. 

I wish to know — 



216 L'ifeCOLE DES MARIS [Act in 

Sganarelle. 
Hold your tongue, I tell you. 

ValIiee. 
Whatever happens, my word is pledged-to 
Isabelle, and hers to me; if you examine all 
things well, 't is not a choice you need condemn. 

Abiste, to Sganarelle. 
But what he says is not — 

Sganarelle. 

Be silent, and for good reason, you shall 

know the secret soon. {To Valere) Yes, without 

further talk we both consent that you shall be 

the husband of her who now is with you in 

your house. 

Commissary. 

Those are the terms in which this document 
is drawn ; the lady's name was left in blank, as 
she did not appear. Sign it yourselves; her 
signature can follow yours. 

ValAre. 
I agree to that. 

Sganarelle. 
And I insist upon it. (Aside) Oh ! what a 
laugh for me! (Aloud) Come, brother, sign 
there. 



Scene Vm] L':fcCOLE DES MARIS 217 

Akiste. 
But why 1 What is this mystery ? 

Sgakarelle. 
The devil ! what a fuss ! Sign it, you dolt 1 

Akiste. 
He speaks of Isahelle, and you of L^onor. 

Sganarelle. 
Have' we not agreed that if she is there we 
will leave tliem. to their mutual love 1 

Aeiste. 
Yes. 

Sganarelle. 

Then sign, and I will do the same. 

Ariste. 
So he it, hut I do not comprehend. 

Sganarelle. 
You '11 he enlightened soon. 

Commissary. 
We shall presently return. 

Sganarelle, to Ariste. 
Now, then, I 'II tell you the true end of thia 
intrigue. (^They retire to back of stage.) 



\ 



218 L'feCOLE DES MARIS [Act IH 

SCENE NINTH 

LiioNOB, LisETTE, Sganabelle, Aribte 

L:loNOE. 
Oh! what martyrdom! How wearisome those 
foolish gallants are I I 've left the ball on their 
account. 

LiSETTE. 

They all endeavoured to make themselves 
agreeable to you. 

lAosoR. 

Well, for my part, I think them insupport- 
able, and I prefer the simplest conversation to 
all the tinsel speeches of those chatterers. They 
think that everything must bow to their blond 
periwigs, and fancy they have made a witty 
speech when, in a vulgar, jesting tone, they twit 
you foolishly about an old man's love. I know 
/ prize an old man's zealous friendship more 
than all the transports of their giddy brains. 
But do I not see — ? 

Sganabelle, to Ariste. 

Yes, the matter is as I tell you. {Sees 
Leonor.) But here she is, and her maid with 
her. 



SobkeIX] L'^COLE DBS MARIS 219 

Ariste. 

L6onor, without being angry, I think I have 
some reason to complain. You know if I have 
ever wished to thwart you; and whether I 
have not, a score of times, assured you that you 
should have full liberty of choice. And yet 
your heart, despising my approval, has without 
my knowledge bound itself not merely in love, 
but also in marriage. I do not now repent of 
my kind treatment, but still your conduct cer- 
tainly has hurt me; the tender friendship I 
have always shown you did not deserve this 
action on your part. 

LioxOE. 

I don't know why you say these things to 
me, but pray believe I am the same as ever; 
that nothing can change my feelings towards 
you; and any other love would seem to me a 
crime. In short, if you would satisfy my 
heart, a closer tie would soon unite us. 
Abiste. 

Brother, I wish to know on what foundation 
you have based — 

Sganarelle, to Lionor. 
What ! do you not come from Valfere's house ? 
Have you not told us of your amours, saying, 



220 L':fcCOLE DES MARIS [Act HI 

this very day, that you had loved him for a 
year or more ? 

L£ONOR. 

Who can have said those things of me and 
taken pains to forge such falsehoods J 



SCENE TENTH 

ISABELLE, ValIiEE, LeONOR, ArISTE, SgANARELLE, 
LiSETTE, EbGASTE, THE COMMISSARY, THE NOTAET 

ISABBLLE. 

Sister, I ask your generous pardon for having 
smirched your name to gain my liberty. The 
pressing danger of discovery inspired in my 
mind this shameful stratagem. Your example, 
sister, condemns my reckless act; but fate has 
treated us so differently ! {To Sganarelle) To 
you I do not choose to make excuses. I serve 
you more than I have wronged you. Heaven 
nearer made us for each other. I grant I am 
unworthy of your name ; I much prefer to put 
myself in Valfere's hands than feel I do not 
merit a heart like yours. 

VALiBE, to Sganarelle. 
But as for me, it is my pride and glory, mon- 
sieur, to owe hex to your hand. 



Scene X] L'feCOLE DBS MAEIS 221 

Ariste. 
Brother, you must take this trial calmly. 
Your actions were the cause of hers. I think 
you most unfortunate in this, that, knowing you 
have duped yourself, no one will pity you. 

LiSETTE. 

For my part, I am grateful to him ; the up- 
shot of his care is exemplary warning. 

MONOR. 

I do not know if that is to his credit, hut I 
am sure of one thing : that I cannot hlame him. 

Ergaste. 
His star ordained him to the fate of cuckold ; 
and to he one only in hud is for him good luck. 

Sganarelle, rousing hiTnself from his 
dejection. 

No, I cannot recover from my amazement. 
This hellish trick confounds my judgment. I 
do not think that Satan himself would be as 
wicked as that worthless girl. For her I would 
have put my hand into the fire and kept it there. 
Unhappy is the man who trusts a woman ; the 
best are fruitful in malignity ; their sex is pro- 
created to damn all mankind. Ha ! I renounce 



222 L'feCOLE DES MARIS [Act III 

forever their deceitful company, and send them 
to the devil with all my heart. 

Ekgaste. 
Good! 

Ariste. 

Let us retire to my house. Come, Seigneur 
Val6re, to-morrow we will try to pacify his 
wrath. 

LisETTE, to the audience. 

And you, if you know any were-wolf hus- 
bands, pray send them to our School to see 
themselves. 



END OF l'^COLE DES MABI8. 



MONSIEUR DE POURCEAUGNAC 



CrometJg'Balltt 

IN THREE ACTS 



PERSONAGES 



monsieuk de pouhceauonac. 
Okonte. 



Jdlie . 
Ekaste 

NtRINB 

Ldcette 
Sbrigani 
FinsT Doctor. 
Second Doctok. 
An Apothecaet. 
A Peasant. 
A Peasant-woman. 
First Porter. 
Second Porter. 
A Police Officer. 
Two Ascbess. 



daughter of Oronte. 

lover of Julie. 

an intriguing woman. 

pretending to be a Languedocian. 

Neapolitan, an intriguing man. 



The scene \b in Paris. 




MONSIEUR DE POURCEAUGNAC 



act iFftat 

SCENE FIRST 

Eraste, a Female Musician, and two Musicians 
singing, several others playing instruments ; a Tboupk 
OF Dancers. 

Eeaste, to the Musicians and Dancers. 

r OLLOW the orders which I gave you for the 
serenade. I shall myself retire, as I do not wish 
to be observed. 



SCENE SECOND 

A Female Musician, and two Musicians, singing. 
Several othera playing instrnments. A Tboupe op 
Dancers. This serenade is composed of song, in- 
strumental music, and dances. The words that are 
VOL. V. — 15 



226 M. DE POUKCEAUGNAC [Act I 

8ung relate to the situation in which Eraste is with 
Julie, and express the sentiments of two lovers who 
are crossed in love by the caprice of their parents. 

The Female Musician, singing. 

Shed, lovely night, shed over mortal eyes 

Thy poppy's gentle balm. 
Let those alone in whose heart passion lies 
Wake in this midnight calm. 
Thy silence, and the gloom. 
Fairer than daylight's bloom. 
Yield precious moments for a lover's sighs. 

First Musician. 

How sweetly fall and rise 

True lovers' tender sighs 

When naught the joy opposes 

Of hearts that Love disposes. 

And cruel parents cease 

To tyrannize I 
How sweetly fall and rise 
True lovers' tender sighs, 
When naught our joy opposes I 

Second Musician. 

In vain their harsh endeavor 
Our faithful hearts to sever ; 
True love is conquered never 
If we but love forever I 
Ever I ever I 



Scene II] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 227 

All Three, together. 

Be ours eternal love, 

That no constraint can move ; 
For absence, sorrow, toil, and trouble 
Will only make affection double ; 

When two hearts love on earth 

All else is nothing worth 1 
Then let us vow eternal love ; 

When true hearts blend on earth 

All else is nothing worth I 

First Entrance of Ballet. 
Dance of two dancing-masters. 

Second Entrance of Ballet. 
Dance of two pages. 

Third Entrance of Ballet. 

Four spectators, who have quarrelled during the 
dance of the two pages, dance fighting, sword in hand. 

Fourth Entrance of Ballet. 

Two porters separate the combatants and after 
peace is restored all dance together. 



I 



228 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act I 

SCENE THIRD 
Jqlib, ^bastb, NtBiira 

Julie. 

Oh, heavens ! Illraste, let us be careful we are 
not surprised. I tremble lest we be seen to- 
gether and all be lost, since they forbid me to 
so much as see you. 

^^BASTE. 

I 've looked about in all directions, and 
there 's no one to be seen. 

Julie, to Nerine. 

Keep watch yourself, Nerine; and do be 
careful to let no one come. 

NiRiNE, retreating to back of stage. 
Eely on me; say to each other boldly what 
you have to say. 

Julie, to j^raste. 

Have you imagined any way to turn things 
in our favor'! and do you think, Eraste, we 
can escape this horrid marriage my father has 
got into his head } 



ScBiralll] M. DE POUKCEAUGNAC 229 

We are working hard, at all events ; already 
■we 've prepared a lot of batteries to overthrow 
this foolish plan. 

NiRiNE, running forward. 
My goodness ! here 's your father. 

Julie. 
Oh ! let us part ! quick ! quick ! 

N^RINE. 

No, no, you need not stir; I was mistaken. 

Julie. 
Good gracious ! Nerine, how can you be so 
silly as to frighten us in this way. 

i^RASTE. 

Yes, dearest Julie, we have arranged a 
quantity of schemes; and I mean to try them 
all, relying on the promise you have given me. 
Don't ask to know the wires we pull ; you are 
to be spectator; and (as they do at comedies) 
'tis best to leave you to the pleasures of sur- 
prise, and tell you nothing of what you are to 
see. Enough to say that we have divers strata- 
gems all ready to produce when needed, and 
that our clever Nerine and sly Sbrigani have 
undertaken the affair. 



230 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act I 

NfiRINE. 

Yes, that is so. Your father must be joking 
to want to marry you to his Limoges lawyer, 
Monsieur de Pourceaugnac ! — a man he has never 
seen in all his life, and who is coming here by 
coach to snatch you from us ! Three or four thou- 
sand crowns (according to your uncle) is that a 
reason to reject a lover whom you liked 1 A girl 
like you was never born to take a Limousin ; if he 
wants marriage, why does ii't he himself go take 
a wife in Limoges, and leave us here in peace ? 
The very name of Monsieur de Pourceaugnac 
puts me beside myself ! I 'm furious at Mon- 
sieur de Pourceaugnac. If there were no other 
name on earth than Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, 
I 'd burn my books or break the marriage off, 
for Madame de Pourceaugnac you shall not be ! 
Pourceaugnac ! why, it is n't to be endured ! 
No, Pourceaugnac is something that I cannot 
stand! We '11 play him such a lot of tricks and 
poke him here and push him there in such a 
way we '11 soon send back to his native Limoges 
Monsieur de Pourceaugriac I 

^BASTB. 

Here comes our subtle Neapolitan, who will 
tell us all the news. 



Scene IV] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 231 

SCENE FOURTH 
JnnE, ^RASTE, Sbrigani, N^bine 

Sbeigani. 
Monsieur, the mau has come. I saw him 
where the coach put up last night, three leagues 
from here ; and when he came to hreakfast in 
the kitchen I studied him, and know him all by 
heart. As for his person, I won't speak of that; 
you '11 see the style that Kature made him, and 
whether or not his garments correspond there- 
with. But, for his mind, I warn you in advance 
it is the thickest that was ever made ; he '11 
prove the very stuff for what we want ; he 's 
just the man to tumble into all the snares we 
set for him. 

!6baste. 

Aje you sure that 's so. 

Sbeigani. 
Yes, if I 'm a judge of men. 

Nebine, to Julie. 

Madame, this is a famous man. Your mat- 
ters could not be in better hands ; he is the hero 
of our century for such exploits as these, — a man 
who, Scores of times, has generously risked the 



232 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act I 

galleys to serve his friends, and, at the peril of 
his arms and shoulders, knows how to nobly end 
the worst adventures ; a man, such as you see 
him, who is exiled from his native country for 
I don't know how many honorable actions which 
he had generously undertaken. 

Sbrigani. 
I am confounded by the praise with which 
you honor me. I can return it, with far more 
justice, on your marvellous deeds; and chiefly 
three of them : namely, the credit you acquired 
when, with such honesty, you plucked at cards 
for twenty thousand crowns the young foreign 
nobleman who visited your house; and that 
false contract that you made so bravely, which 
ruined a whole family when you denied, with 
loftiness of soul, receiving certain property in- 
trusted to your care; but, above all, your testi- 
mony, so generously given, which hanged two 
persons who did not deserve it. 

Nekine. 
Those were mere trifles, not worth mention- 
ing; your praises make me blush. 

Sbrigani. 

I '11 spare your modesty and say no more. 
Now, to begin the present matter. We will at 



Scene IV] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 233 

once waylay our old provincial; while you, on 
your side, must hold the other actors in readi- 
ness, when needed, to play our comedy. 

^^EASTE, to Julie. 
And you, remember your part, Julie. To 
cover our game, be sure you feign, as I have told 
you, perfect content with all your father's plans. 

Julie. 
If that is all I have to do, things will go well. 

^BASTE. 

But, dearest Julie, suppose that none of our 
machinations should succeed ? 

Julie. 
Then I shall tell my father my real sentiments. 

Eraste. 
And if, against those sentiments, he persists 

in his design? 

Julie. 

I shall threaten to take refuge in a convent. 

£raste. 
But suppose, in spite of that, he still insists 
on forcing you to make this marriage ? 

Julie. 
What is it that you desire me to say ? 



234 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Aci I 

^RASTE. 

What do I desire that you should say t 

JULIJS. 

Yes. 

Ebaste. 

What people say when they are truly in love. 

Julie. 
But what ? 

;6ka8tb. 

That nothing shall compel you to marry, and 

that you promise, in spite of your fatfier, to be 

mine. 

Julie. 

Oh, heavens! ;^raste, be satisfied with what 

I am doing now ; do not force the resolutions of 

my heart as to the future; do not harass my 

duty by suggestions of a miserable extremity we 

may never have to meet; and if fate wills that 

■we must come to it, let me at least be drawn 

along by the current of events. 

ilRASTE. 

So be it, then. 

Sbkigani. 

Hi! here comes our man; let us think of 

what we have to do. 

N^EINE. 

Goodness ! what a shape I 



ScBNB V] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 235 

SCENE riFTH 

MONSIEUB DE PonEOEAUGNAC, SbKIGANI 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, turning half 
round and speaMng to persons behind him. 
Hey, what? What is it? What 's the mat- 
ter ? The devil take this silly town, and the silly 
people who are in it ! Can't a man walk a step 
without encountering ninnies who stare at him 
and laugh ? Hey ! you boobies, attend to your 
own aifairs, and let other folks go their way 
without grinning in their faces. The devil take 
me if I don't cuff the first man I see laughing. 

Sbrigani, speaking to same persons. 
What is all this, messieurs ? What does this 
mean ? Do you know whom you are speaking to ? 
What business have you to make fun of worthy 
strangers who visit the town ? 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Here 's one sensible man, at least. 

Sbrigani, speaking to same. 
What sort of actions are these? What do 
you see to laugh at? 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 

Good! 



236 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act I 

Sbrigani. 
Is there anything ridiculous in this gentle- 
mau? 

Monsieur de Poueceaugnac. 
Yes, that 's it. 

Sbrigani. 
Is he different from others 1 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Am I hump-backed or bandy-legged 1 

Sbrigani. 
Learn to know your betters. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
That 's well said. 

Sbrigani. 

Monsieur's appearance shows him worthy of 
all respect — 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 

That 's very true. 

Sbrigani. 
A person of condition — 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Yes, a nobleman of Limoges. 



SOENB V] M, DE POURCEAUGNAC 237 

Sbrigani. 
Man of intelligence — 

Monsieur de Poueceaugnac. 
And studied law. 

Sbrigani. 
Who does you great honor by coming to - 
your town — 

Monsieur db Pourceaugnac. 
No doubt of that. 

Sbrigani. 
Monsieur is not a man to be laughed at — 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Assuredly not. 

Sbrigani. 
And whoso liiughs at him must answer for his 
laughter to me. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, to Sbrigani. 
Monsieur, I am infinitely obliged to you. 

Sbrigani. 

I am grieved, monsieur, to see a person like 
yourself received in such a way, and I ask your 
pardon for the town. 



238 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act I 

Monsieur de Poukceaugnac. 
Monsieur, I thank you. 

Sbrigani. 

I saw you this morning, monsieur, when you 
breakfasted at the place where the coach put up ; 
and the grace with whicli you ate your food 
gave birth to friendship in my mind at once ; and 
— as I know that you have never visited these 
parts before — I am very glad to meet you, to 
offer my services and help to guide you among 
these people, who do not always show to worthy 
persons the respect they ought. 

MONSIECB DE PoURCEAUGNAC. 

You do me too much kindness. 

Sbrigani. 
As I said before, the moment that I saw you 
I felt an inclination to you. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
I am indeed obliged to you. 

Sbrigani. 
Your countenance has pleased me — 

Monsieur de Poubceaugnac. 
You honor me greatly. 



Scene V] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 239 

Sbkigani. 
It looks to me so honest — 

Monsieur de Poueceaugnac. 
Your most obedient. 

Sbkigani. 
There is something so amiable — 

Monsieur de Poukoeaugnao. 

Ah! 

Sbkigani. 

So gracious — 

Monsieur jyb Poueceaugnac. 
Ah! ah! 

Sbkigani. 
Gentle — 

Monsieur de Pouroeaugnac. 

Ah! ah! 

Sbrigani. 
Majestic — 

Monsieur de Poueceaugnac. 

Ah! ah! 

Sbeigani. 

Frank — 

Monsieue de Poueceaugnac. 
Ah! ah! 



240 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act I 

Sbrigani. 

And cordial. 

Monsieur de Poukceaugnac. 

Ah! ah! 

Sbrigani. 

I assure you I am wholly yours. 

Monsieur de Poubceaugnac. 
For which I am greatly obliged. 

Sbrigani. 
I speak from the bottom of my heart. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 

I believe it. 

Sbrigani. 

If I had the honor of being known to you 
you would be aware that I am a very sincere 
man. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 

I do not doubt it. 

Sbrigani. 

An enemy to deceit — 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
I am persuaded of it. 



Scene V] M. DE POUECEAUGNAC 241 

Sbkigani. 
Incapable of disguising my sentiments. 
Monsieur de Poukceaugnac. 
Yes, so I think. 

Sbkigani. 
I see you glancing at my coat, which is not 
like other people's. The reason is, I come 
from Naples, at your service, and I like to 
retain a little of the style of dress and the sin- 
cerity of my native land. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
And very proper, too. For my part I have 
had this court^suit made for me at home. 

Sbrigani. 
Faith ! it becomes you better than it would 
our courtiers. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
That is what my tailor told me. The suit is 
neat and rich; 'twill make a talk here. 

Sbrigani. 

No doubt it will. You will go to the Louvre, 
of course? 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
I am bound to pay my duty at court. 

VOL. V. — 16 



242 M. DE POUECEAUGNAC [Act I 

Sbeigani. 
The King will be delighted to see you. 

Monsieur de Poueceaugnao. 
Yes, so I think. 

Sbeigani. 
Have you chosen a lodging 1 

MoNSiEUE DE Poueceaugnao. 
No, I am now in search of one. 

Sbeigani. 
I shall be very glad to help you, for I know 
this whole region well. 



SCENE SIXTH 

!^BASTE, MOKSIEUB DE POUBCEAUONAC, SbBIQANI 

fisASTE. 

Ha! who is this? What! can it be? How 
fortunate this meeting! Monsieur de Pour- 
ceaugnac! I am truly delighted to see you — 
But how is this? You don't seem to recog- 
nize me. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnao. 

Your servant, monsieur. 



Scene VI] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 243 

Is it possible that five or six years can have 
wiped me from your memory t Do you not 
recognize the closest friend of the whole family 
of Pourceaugnac ? 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Pardon me, yes. (Aside to Sbrigani) 
Upon my word, I don't know who he is. 

^BASTE. 

There's not a Pourceaugnac in all Limoges 
whom I don't know, from the smallest to the 
greatest; T was intimate with them all at the 
time I lived there, and I had the honor of seeing 
you almost daily. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
The honor was mine, monsieur. 

!6raste. 
And yet you can't recall my face ? 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Indeed I do. (Aside to Sbrigani) Don't 
know him at all. 

^RASTE. 

You don't remember that I had the honor, I 
can't tell how many times, to drink with you ? 



244 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act I 

Monsieur de Poukceaugnac. 
Oh ! excuse me, yes. {Aside to Sbrigani) 
I don't know what he is talking about. 

^raste. 
What is the name of that caterer in Limoges 
who serves such excellent food ? 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 

Petit-Jean. 

£raste. 

Ah! to be sure. How often we went there 
you and I to enjoy it! That place in Limoges 
where people promenade — I forget what you 
call it? 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 

The Cimeti^re des Arfenes. 

^RASTE. 

Just so. How many pleasant hours I have 
spent there, enjoying your agreeable conversa- 
tion. You don't remember all that ? 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Excuse me, I remember it. {Aside to Sbri- 
gani) The devil take me if I remember a 
thing about it. 



Scene VI] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 245 

Sbkigani, aside to M. de Pourceaugnac. 
A himdred little matters like that are apt to 
escape our memories. 

Eraste. 
Embrace me, I entreat, and let us renew the 
ties of our former friendship. 

Sbkigani, to M. de Pourceaugnac. 
He is a man who seems truly attached to you, 

&ASTE. 

Do tell me the news of all your relations. 
How is monsieur your — there ! that most 
worthy man? 

MONSIEUH DE PoUHCEAUGNAC. 

My brother, the consul ? 

]^RASTE. 

Yes. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
He is uncommonly well. 

Eraste. 
Delighted to hear it ! And that good-natured 
fellow — tliere ! your — 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
My cousin, the assessor t 



246 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act I 

Precisely. 

MONSIEUK DE PoURCEAUGNAC. 

He is always gay and lively. 

Eraste. 
Faith, I 'm glad of it. And your uncle ? 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
I have no uncle. 

i^RASTE. 

But you had one in those days. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
No, only an aunt. 

;6raste. 
Aunt, of course ! that 's what I meant. How 
is she? 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
My aunt has heen dead these six months. 

Eraste. 
Ah! poor woman; she was such a kind 
creature. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
And we almost lost my nephew the canon ; he 
came very near dying of the small-pox. 



Scene VI] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 247 

£baste. 
What a pity that would have been ! 

Monsieur de Pourcbaugnao. 
Did you kuow him 1 

;6rastb. 
Know him? of course I did; a tall, well- 
made fellow. 

Monsieur de Poueceaugnac. 
Not so very tall. 

^fifiASTE. 

No, but well set-up. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 

Yea. 

^raste. 

I mean your nephew. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 

Yes. 

^^easte. 

Son of your brother, or your sister. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 

Precisely. 

^raste. 

Canon of the church of — what *s its name ? 



248 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act I 

MONSIEUE DE POUKCEAUGNAC. 

Saint-^fitienne. 

Erastb. 

Of course. I don't know any other. 

Monsieur de Pourcbaugnac, aside to 

Shrigani. 
He knows all my relations. 

Sbkigani. 
He knows you better than you think. 

Monsieur de Pourcbaugnac, to Eraste. 
It seems you spent some time in Limoges 1 

Eraste. 
Two whole years. 

Monsieur de Pourcbaugnac. 
Were you there when my cousin, the deputy 
elect, made the governor of our town stand spon- 
sor for his child ? 

;6raste. 

Yes, indeed; I was among the first invited. 

Monsieur de Pourcbaugnac. 
'T was a fine occasion. 

ISraste. 
Very fine, yes. 



Scene VI] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 249 

Monsieur de Poubcbaugnac. 
And the supper well-served. 

&ASTE. 

Indeed you may say so. 

Monsieur de Poubcbaugnac. 
You saw of course the quarrel that I had 
■with that Perigord gentleman 1 

I^RASTE. 

Yes. 

Monsieur de Poubceaugnac. 
Parbleu ! he found his match. 

!^RASTE. 

Ha, ha ! 

Monsieur de Pourceauqnac. 
He slapped my face, but I gave him a piece 
of my mind. 

i^RASTE. 

I remember. But now, I insist that you 
take up your lodging with me. 

Monsieur de Poueceauonac, 
I could not think of — 

£raste. 
You are jesting; I cannot allow my best 
friend to live elsewhere than in my house. 



250 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act I 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
I fear I should — 

£raste. 
No, no, not a word ! indeed you must lodge 
with me. 

Sbrigani, to M. de Pourceaugnac. 

As he insists upon it, I should, if I were 
you, accept his offer. 

£raste. 
Where is your haggage ? 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
I left it with my valet where the coach set 
me down. 

i^BASTE. 

Then I will send for it. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 

No; I forbade my man to stir until I re- 
turned myself, for fear of trickery. 

Sbrigani. 
'T was prudent. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
One must needs be cautious in these parts. 



Scene VI] M. DE POUECEAUGNAC 251 

;6easte. 
I see how wise you are in all things. 

Sbrigani, to ^raste. 

I will myself accompany monsieur, and hring 
him to your house, if you will kindly teU me 
where it is. 

i^RASTE. 

Do SO. I shall be glad to give my orders. 
You have only to bring back monsieur to the 
house you see before you. 

Sbrigani. 

We shall return at once. 

!^RA8TE. 

I '11 await you with impatience. 

Monsieur de Poueceaugnac, to Sbrigani, 
Here 's an acquaintance I did not expect. 

Sbrigani. 
He looks to me like an honest man. 

!^RASTE, alone. 

Ha ! ha ! Monsieur de Pourceaugnac ! we '11 
give it you on all sides. Our plans are laid; 
I have only to strike. Hola ! 



252 M. DE POUECEADGNAC [Act I 

SCENE SEVENTH 
Eraste, an Apothecary 

&ASX1S. 
Monsieur, you are, I think, the doctor to 
whom I sent a message 1 

Apothecary. 
Ko, monsieur, that honor does not belong to 
me. I am not the doctor ; I am only an apothe- 
cary, an unworthy apothecary, at your service. 

£easte. 
And the doctor, is he at home 1 

Apothecary. 
Yes ; he is trying to get rid of certain patients. 
I will tell him you are here. 

^^RASTE. 

No, don't stir ; I will wait till he has finished. 
I have come to put into liis charge a relation of 
ours — about whom some of us spoke to him ; a 
man who has just been attacked with a species 
of insanity, of which we are anxious to get him 
cured before his marriage. 

Apothecary. 
I know what it is, I know what it is. I was 
with the doctor when some one spoke to him. 



ScBNE Vn] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 253 

Faith ! you could n't have called in a cleverer 
doctor. He 's a man who knows his medicine 
as 1 know my alphabet ; and a patient might die 
before he 'd give up one iota of the rules. Yes, 
he follows the high-road, follows the high-road, 
and he does n't think it mid-day at fourteen 
o'clock. For all the gold in the universe he 
would n't cure a patient with any remedies but 
those the Faculty permit. 

He is perfectly right; a patient shouldn't 
even wish to be cured unless the Faculty 
consent. 

Apothecaby. 

It is not because he and I are such friends 
that I speak ; but there 's pleasure in being his 
patient ; I 'd rather die under his remedies than 
be cured by those of others. Don't you see, 
whatever happens, one has the comfort of know- 
ing it is all in order, all in order, and if you die 
under his management your heirs can't blame 
you. 

Eeaste. 

That 's a great consolation for the deceased. 

Apothecary. 
Indeed it is. It is a blessing to die by the 
right method at any rate. Besides which, he is 



254 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act I 

not one of those doctors who spin out maladies ; 
he is expeditious, expeditious; he likes to get 
through with his patients, and if they have to 
die, he makes them do it as fast as they can. 

£raste. 

Well, there 's nothing like doing things 

quickly. 

Apothecabt. 

That is true. What's the good of turning 

round and round the pot and haggling 1 It is 

best to know at once the short and the long of 

an illness. 

£raste. 

You are right. 

Apothecary. 

He has done me the honor to attend three of 
my children and they died in four days; in the 
hands of any other physician they 'd have lin- 
gered four months. 

£baste. 
It is a good thing to have friends like him. 

Apothecary. 
You may well say that. I have only two 
children left, and he cares for them as if they 
were his own. He prescribes for them just as 



Scene VlII] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 255 

he fancies ; I never interfere, I never interfere ; 
and often, when I go home I find they have been 
bled or purged by his direction. 

fiRASTE. 

That 's very obliging of him. 
Apothecart. 
Here he is, here he is, here he is now. 



SCENE EIGHTH 

^BABTB, First Doctok, Apothecary, a Peasant, 
A Peasant-woman 

Peasant, to Doctor. 

Monsieur, he can't bear it; he says he feels 
in his head the most horrid pains in the world 

Doctor. 

The patient is a fool; and all the more be- 
cause, in the disease he has, it is not his 
head, according to Galen, but his spleen which 
pains him. 

Peasant. 

Well, whatever it is, monsieur, he has had a 
looseness in the bowels, too, for the last six 
months. 



256 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act 1 

Doctor. 
Good ; that is a sign that his inside works. 
I '11 call and see him in a day or two. But, in 
case he dies hefore then, don't fail to let me 
know : for it is not civil to let a doctor pay a 
visit to a dead man. 

Peasant-woman, to Doctor. 
My father, monsieur, gets worse and worse. 

DOCTOK. 

That 's not my fault. I give him remedies ; 
why doesn't he get well? How many times 
have you bled him? 

Peasant-woman. 
Fifteen, monsieur, in twenty days. 

Doctor. 
Bled him fifteen times, you say t 

Peasant-woman. 
Yes. 

Doctor. 
And he does not get well ? 

Peasant-woman. 

No, monsieur. 



ScENB IX] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 257 

DOCTOB. 

'T is a sign that the disease is not in the 
blood. Now, then, we will purge him an equal 
number of times to see if it is not in the humors 
of the body ; after which, if nothing succeeds, I 
shall send him to the baths. 
Apothecary. 

That 's the last resource, the last resource of 
medicine. 

SCENE NINTH 

iiBABTB, FlKST DoCTOB, APOTBECABT 

i^BASTE, to Doctor. 
It was I, monsieur, who sent you word, a 
few days back, about a relative rather troubled 
in his mind, whom I desire to place in your 
house, in order to cure him more conveniently 
and let few people see him. 

Doctor. 
Yes, monsieur, yes; I have made my arrange- 
ments ; and I promise you to take all imaginable 
care of him. 

^BASTE. 

Here he comes now, most luckily, 

VOL. V. — 17 



258 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act I 

Doctor. 
His coming is opportune, for I have an 
honored friend and colleague with me now, 
whom 1 shall be most glad to consult about his 

malady. 

♦ 

SCENE TENTH 

MONSIEnB SE PonKCEAUGNAC, ifcuASTE, FiRST DOCTOK, 

Apothecary 

^RASTE, to Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 

A little matter has occurred which obliges me 

to leave you for a time ; but here (motioning to 

the Doctor) is a person in whose hands I place 

you; he will treat you, for me, to the best of 

his ability. 

Doctor. 

The duty of my profession obliges me to do 
so ; and it is all-sufficient that you lay this charge 
upon me. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, aside. 

His steward, no doubt; he must be a man of 

quality. 

Doctor, to Eraste. 

Yes, I assure you that I shall treat this gen- 
tleman by our venerable methods, and under all 
tlie regulations of our art. 



Scene X] M. DE POUECEAUGNAC 259 

Monsieur de Poueceaugnac. 

No need for so mucli ceremony. I do not 
come here to put you to inconvenience. 

DOCTOK. 

An employment of this kind gives me nothing 
but pleasure. 

Eraste, to Doctor. 

Here are ten pistoles in advance, on account 
of what I promised you. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
No, no, if you please; I cannot suffer you 
to be at any cost, or to purchase things for me. 

Eraste. 
I beg of you, say nothing more. That money 
is not for what you think. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
I ask you to treat me as a friend. 

Eraste. 
That is exactly what I wish to do. {Aside to 
the Doctor) Above all, I warn you, let him 
not escape ; he may try at times to do so. 

Doctor. 
Do not be anxious as to that. 



260 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC ' [Act I 

Ekaste, to Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 

I beg you to excuse my incivility in leaving 
you. 

Monsieur de Poukceaugkac. 

Make no excuses; you are too kind in what 
you do for me. 

¥— 

SCENE ELEVENTH 

MOMBIItUR DB FoBBCEArGNAC, FiBST DoCTOR, SbCONS 

Doctor, Apothecabt 

First Doctor, to M. de Pourceaugnac. 

It is a great honor for me, monsieur, to be 
selected to attend upon you. 

Monsieur de Poukcbaugnac. 
I am obliged to you. 

First Doctor. 
Here is a very able man, my colleague, with 
whom I shall consult as to the mode of treating 
you. 

Monsieur de Poukoeaugnao. 

No ceremony, I tell you. I am a man who 
is content with ordinary living. 



Scene XI] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 261 

First Doctob. 

Hete! bring chairs. 

(Lacqueys enter, and place chairs!) 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, aside. 
Those valets look rather lugubrious for the 
service of a young fellow like my host. 

First Doctor, to M. de Pourceaugnac. 
Come, monsieur, take your seat. 
(The two Doctors make M. de Pourceaugnac 
sit between them,.) 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, sitting down. 

Your most obedient. ( The Doctors each take 

a hand to feel his pulse.) What does all this 

mean? 

First Doctor. 

Is your appetite good ? 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Yes, I eat well, and drink better. 

First Doctor. 
That's a pity. This craving for cold and 
humidity is an indication of heat and dryness 
within. Do you sleep sound? 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Yes, if I sup well. 



262 M. DE FOURCEAUGNAC [Act I 

First Doctor. 
Do you dream ? 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Sometimes. 

First Doctor. 
Of what nature are your dreams ? 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
The nature of dreams! What the devil is 
this kind of talk? 

First Doctor. 
Your dejections, how are theyl 

MoNSiKUR DE Pourceaugnac. 
Faith! I don't understand what your que»- 
tions are about. I want something to drink. 

First Doctor. 
A little patience; we intend to discuss your 
case before you ; and we shall do so in French, 
in order to be more intelligible. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Pray what discussion is there about getting a 
bit to eat I 



ScENK XI] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 263 

First Doctob, to Second Doctor. 

Inasmuch as no malady can be cured unless 
we know it perfectly, and as it cannot be per- 
fectly known without establishing its particular 
principle and true species from its diagnostic 
and prognostic signs, you will permit me, my 
honored elder and colleague, to enter into con- 
sideration of the malady itself here presented to 
us, before touching on the question of ther- 
apeutics and the remedies we may decide to 
employ for the perfect eradication of the same. 
I say therefore, monsieur, with your permission, 
that our patient here present is unfortunately 
attacked, affected, possessed, and pervaded by 
the sort of madness which we call, very properly, 
hypochondriacal melancholy ; a species of very 
distressing madness, which demands an ^scula- 
pius like yourself, consummate in our art, — you, 
I repeat, who have whitened, as the saying is, 
in harness; and through whose hands ao many 
patients of all kinds liave passed. I call this 
form of madness hypochondriacal melancholy to 
distinguish it from two others ; for the cele- 
brated Galen has learnedly established three 
species of this malady, which we call melancholy ; 
and it is so called not only by the Latins but 



26-1 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act I 

by the Greeks, — a fact it is well to remark for 
our guidance in the present case. The first of 
these species proceeds from, the vitiated con- 
dition of the brain itself ; the second from the 
blood, turning and becoming atrabiliary; the 
third, called hypochondriacal, — namely, the one 
we are now considering, — proceeds from the 
vitiated condition of the abdomen and lower 
intestines, more particularly the spleen, the heat 
and inflammation of which send to the brain of 
a patient much thick and unctuous fuliginous 
matter, the black, malignant vapors of which 
produce disorder in the functions of the intel- 
lectual faculties and the malady, from which, 
according to our judgment, this patient is mani- 
festly suffering. As the incontestable diagnos- 
tics of what I have now said to you, you have 
only to consider that solemn air which you 
behold; that sadness, accompanied by fear and 
distrust, pathognomical and individual signs of 
this disease (so well defined by that divine old 
man, Hippocrates) ; that countenance ; those red 
and haggard eyes ; that heavy beard ; that car- 
riage of the body, which is lank, puny, black, 
and hairy ; all signs wliich denote the patient as 
being afflicted with this malady, proceeding 
from the virus of hypochondriasis; which 



Scene XT] M. DE POUKCEAUGNAC 265 

malady, becoming, by lapse of time, natural- 
ized, inveterate, customary, and in possession of 
him, will soon degenerate either into mono- 
mania, or into phthisis, or into apoplexy, or 
even, in the end, into fury and frenzy. All 
this being thus diagnosed, — for a disease well- 
recognized is half cured, ignoti nulla est curatio 
morhi, — it will not be difficult for you to agree 
with me as to the remedies we must now apply, 
as follows : Primarily, to remedy the obturating 
plethora and the superabundant cacochymy of 
the body, I am of opinion that he be liberally 
phlebotomized; that is to say, that the bleed- 
ings be frequent and copious; first from the 
basilic vein inside the arm ; next from the 
cephalic vein deriving from the brain ; and even, 
if the disease proves obstinate, I would open 
the forehead vein, and make the opening large, 
in order to let the thick blood out; while at the 
same time, I should purge, deobstruct, and 
evacuate him by proper and suitable cathartics : 
that is to say, by cholagogues, melangogues, et 
ccBtera ; and, as the true source of all the trouble 
is a feculent and fatty humor, or a black and 
unctuous vapor which darkens, infects, and cor- 
rupts the animal spirits, it is proper that he 
should take a bath of clear pure water, with 



266 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act 1 

repeated doses of whe}' ; the water to purify the 
feculence of the turgid humor, the whey to dis- 
sipate the blackness of the vapor. But, above 
all things, I consider it necessary to enliven him 
with agreeable conversation, songs, and instru- 
ments of music ; to which may be added dancers, 
in order that their lively motions, contortions, 
and agility may excite and awaken his sluggish 
and torpid wits, occasioned by the thickness of 
his blood, in which lies the seat of his malady. 
Those are the remedies that I imagine; to which 
may be added many others far better by my 
respected master and elder colleague, according 
to the experience, light, and practice he has 
obtained in our art. Dixi. 

Second Doctor. 

God forbid, monsieur, that the thought should 
come into my mind to add one iota to what you 
have said ! You have so fully discoursed upon 
the signs, symptoms, and causes of monsieur's 
malady, the argument you have made thereon is 
so learned and so fine, that it is impossible ho 
should not be mad and hypochondriacally melan- 
choly ; and even if he were not so now he must 
infallibly become so from the excellence of the 
things you have stated and the justice of the 



Sc«ira XI] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 267 

reasons which you give. Yes, monsieur, you 
have depicted most graphically, graphice de- 
pinxisti, all that appertains to that malady. 
Nothing could he more learnedly, wisely, ingen- 
iously conceived, thought, imagined, than what 
you have enunciated on the subject of this 
disease, whether on its diagnosis, prognosis, or 
therapeutics; and nought remains for me to do, 
but to congratulate monsieur on having fallen 
into your hands, and to say to him that he is 
most fortunate in being mad, and so experiencing 
the efficacy and comfort of the remedies you 
have so judiciously proposed. I approve them 
all : manibus et pedlhus descendo in tuam sen- 
tentiam. All that I shall venture to add is, 
that the bleedings and purgings be done by the 
uneven numbers, numero deus impare gaudet ; 
the whey administered before the bath ; a plas- 
ter applied to his forehead composed of salt, salt 
being the symbol of wisdom; the walls of his 
room whitewashed to dissipate the blackness of 
his spirits, alhuni est disgregativiim visus ; and 
finally that he be given at once a slight injection 
to serve as a prelude and introduction of your 
judicious remedies, from which, if he is able to 
recover, he will find relief. Heaven grant that 
these remedies, which are yours, monsieur, may 



268 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act I 

benefit tho patient in accordance with our 
intention. 

Monsieur de Poueceaugnac. 

Messieurs, I have listened to you for the last 
hour. Are you playing a comedy t 

First Doctor. 
No, monsieur, this is no play. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 

Then what are you talking about? What 
are you trying to say with all that gabble and 
silliness 7 

First Doctor. 

Of course ; insulting language ! — that is a 
diagnostic which affords us confirmation of the 
disease; in fact, it may already be turning into 
mania. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, aside. 

With whom can that man have left me? 
(Spits once or twice.) 

First Doctor. 
Ah ! another diagnostic ; frequent sputation. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Come, stop all this ; let us go out. 



SCBKE XI] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 269 

First Doctob. 
Another still; desire for change of place. 

MONSIEUK DE PoURCEAUGNAC. 

What does all this mean? What do you 
want with me? 

First Doctor. 
We want to cure you, according to the orders 
which have been given to us. 

Monsieur de Poubceaugnac. 
Cure me ? 

First Doctor. 
Yes. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Parbleu I I 'm not iU. 

First Doctor. 
Bad sign, when a patient does not know he 
is iU. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
I tell you I am perfectly well. 

First Doctor. 
We know better than you how you are; we 
are doctors who can see clearly into your 
constitution. 



270 M. BE POURCEAUGNAC [Aot I 

Monsieur de Poukceaugnac. 
If you are doctors I shall have nothing to do 
with you ; I scorn your medicine. 
First Doctor. 
Hum ! hum ! here is a man who is madder 
than we thought. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnao. 
Monsieur, my father and my mother never 
took remedies, and both of them died without 
the help of doctors. 

First Doctor. 
Then I am not surprised they begat a son who 
becomes insane. (To the Second Doctor) Come, 
we will now proceed to effect the cure, and, by 
the exhilarating sweetness of harmony, let us 
soften, lenify, and compose the irritation of his 
spirits, which are ready, I perceive, to be 
incensed. 



SCENE TWELFTH 
Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, alone. 

What the devil is all this ? Are the people 
of these parts crazy? I never saw anything 
like it in my life; I can't understand a word 
of it. 



Scene XIII] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 271 



SCENE THIRTEENTH 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, two Doctors, gro- 
tesquely attired. At Jirst they all three sit doivn ; then 
the doctors rise at intervals, and bow to Monsieur de 
Pourceaugnac, who rises each time and returns their bow 

The two Doctors, together. 

Buon (h, buon d\, buon di, 
Non vi lasciate uccidere 
Dal dolor maliuconico, 
Noi vi f aremo ridere 
Col nostro canto harmonico ; 

Sol per guarirvi 
Siamo venuti qui. 
Buon di, buon di, buon di. 

FiEST Doctor. 
Altro non fe la pazzia 
Che malinconia. 

11 nialato 
Non h disperato, 
Se vol pigliar un poco d'allegria, 
Altro non fe la pazzia 
Che malinconia. 

Second Doctor. 

Sii, cantate, ballate, ridete ; 

E, ce far meglio volete, 
Quando sentite il deliro vicino. 

Pigliato del vino, 
E qualche volta un poco di tabac, 
AUegramente, ]\Ionsu Pourceaugnac. 



272 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act I 
SCENE EOUKTEENTH 

MONSIEUK DE POORCEAUGNAC, THE TWO GROTESQUE 

Doctors, two Clowns dancing the ballet 



SCENE FIFTEENTH 

Monsieur de Poueceaugnac, an Apothbcaet, 
hMing a syringe 

Apothecary. 
Here, monsieur, is a little remedy, a little 
remedy, which you must take, if you please, if 
you please. 

MoNsiEUK DE Poueceaugnac. 
Nonsense ; what do I want with that 1 

Apothecaey. 
It has heen ordered for you, monsieur, it has 
been ordered. 

Monsieur de Poueceaugnac. 
Ho ! what 's all this fuss ? 

Apothecaey. 
Take it, monsieur, take it; it won't do you 
any harm, any harm, any harm. 

MoNsiEUK DB Poueceaugnac. 
Yah! 



Scene XVI] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 273 

Apothecabt. 

Only a little enema, little enema, emollient, 
emollient ; a little injection ; there, monsieur, 
take it, take it; it is only to cleanse you out, 
cleanse you out, cleanse you out. 



SCENE SIXTEENTH 

Monsieur de PouRCEAnoKAC, an Apothecabt, 
TWO orotesqce Doctors, two Clowns, all with 
syringes 

The Two Doctors. 

Piglialo sii, 

Signer monsu, 
Piglialo, piglialo, piglialo sii, 

Che non ti fara male. 
Piglialo sii questo serviziale ; 

Piglialo su, 

Signor monsu, 
Piglialo, piglialo, piglialo sb. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Go to the devil ! 

Monsieur de Pourceauffnac, putting on his 
hat to protect himself from, the syringes, isfol- 
loired by the Doctors and the Clowns. He 

VOL. V. — 18 



274 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act I 

runs out behind the scenes and returns on the 
other side to his chair, where he finds the 
Apothecary awaiting him ; the Doctors and 
the Clowns return also. 

The two Doctors. 
Piglialo su 
Signer monsu ; 
Piglialo, piglialo, piglialo six, 

Che non ti far& male. 
Piglialo su questo serviziale ; 
Piglialo sii, 
Signor monsu, 
Piglialo, piglialo, piglialo sii. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac picks up his 
chair to protect himself, and rushes away 
with it ; the Apothecary squirts his syringe 
on the chair ; the Doctors and the Clowns 
pursue Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 



END OF FIKST ACT. 



Scene I] M. BE POUECEAUGNAC 275 

2[ct Ztcarib 

SCENE FIRST 
FiBST DOCTOK, Sbrioaiti 

First Doctor. 
XJ.E forced all obstacles I had placed in his 
way, and escaped the remedies I was beginning 
to apply. 

Sbrigani. 

He is an enemy to himself if he flies from 
remedies as salutary as yours. 

First Doctor. 
Sign of a disordered brain and vitiated intel- 
lect to refuse to be cured. 

Sbrigani. 
You, with your knowledge, would have cured 
him out of hand. 

First Doctor. 
Of course I should, if there had even been a 
complication of a dozen maladies. 

Sbrigani. 
Well, there 's fifty well-earned pistoles which 
he makes you lose. 



276 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act U 

First Doctoe. 

Lose ! not I ; I don't intend to lose them ; I 
mean to cure him whether he will or no. He 
is bound and pledged to take my remedies ; and 
I shall seize him wherever I find him as a 
deserter from the Faculty and a violater of my 
prescriptions. 

Sbrigani. 

You are right. Your remedies were surej 
and he has robbed you of that money. 

First Doctor. 
Where can I get news of him 1 

Sbrigani. 
At Oronte's house, no doubt. He has come 
to Paris to marry the daughter, and the father, 
not knowing of his malady, is in haste, they 
say, to conclude the marriage. 

First Doctor. 
I '11 go there at once and speak to him. 

Sbrigani. 
Not a bad thing to do. 

First Doctor. 
He was delivered to my care ; no patient can 
be suffered to scorn his doctor. 



ScenbU] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 277 

Sbrigani. 
Well said, and, if you '11 take my advice, 
you must not allow him to be married until you 
have tried all your remedies to your heart's 
content. 

FlKST DOCTOK. 

Let me alone for that ! 

Sbkigani, aside and departing. 
And I, on my side, v^ill bring up another bat- 
tery ; the father can be as easily befooled as the 
son-in-law. 



SCENE SECOND 
Okontb, First Doctor 

First Doctor. 

Monsieur, you have, I believe, a certain Mon- 
sieur de Fourceaugnac, who is to marry your 
daughter ? 

Oronte. 

Yes ; I expect him here to-day ; he will soon 

arrive. 

First Doctor. 

He has arrived. Being placed in my house 
by his friends, he has just escaped, and I forbid 



278 M. DE POUHCEAUGNAC [Act II 

you, on behalf of the Faculty of Medicine, to 
proceed to the marriage arranged for him until 
I liave duly prepared him for it and put him in 
a condition to procreate children of a proper con- 
dition of body and mind. 

Okonte. 
What does all this mean ? 

First Doctor. 
Your proposed son-in law has been constituted 
my patient; his malady, which was given to me 
to cure, is an article that belongs to me ; T reckon 
it as my property ; and I hereby declare to you 
that I shall not allow him to marry until he has 
satisfied the laws of medicine and submitted 
himself duly to the remedies I prescribe. 

Obonte. 
Has he a disease 1 

First Doctor. 
Yes. 

Oronte. 
And what disease, if you please } 

First Doctor. 
You need not be anxious. 



ScENBn] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 279 

Oronte. 
Isit — 

FiEST Doctor. 

Our profession compels us to secrecy. It is 
enough that I order both you and your daughter 
not to celebrate this marriage without my con- 
sent, under pain of incurring the wrath of the 
Faculty and of being attacked by all the mala- 
dies we control. 

Obontb. 

I do not desire, if such be the case, to press 
the marriage. 

First Doctor. 

He was placed in my hands, and he is bound 
to remain my patient. 

Oronte. 
Very good. 

First Doctor. 
In vain he may try to escape ; I shall have 
him arrested and sentenced to be cured by me. 

Oronte. 
I consent to that. 

First Doctor. 
Yes, he must either die, or I must cure him. 



280 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act H 

Oronte. 
I am willing. 

First Doctor. 
And if I do not find him, I shall make you 
responsible, and take you to cure in place of 

him. 

Oronte. 

But I am well ! 

First Doctor. 
No matter for that ; I must have my patient, 
and I shall take him where I can get him. 

Oronte. 
You can take whom you like, but it will not 
be me. {Alone) What sort of reasoning is that, 
I 'd like to know. 



SCENE THIRD 
OmoifTB, Sbrigani, dressed as a Flemish merchant 

Sbrigani. 
Monsieur, with your permission, I am a for- 
eign merchant, Flemish, who would like to ask 
you a little something. 

Oronte. 
What is it, monsieur t 



Scene HI] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 281 

Sbbigani. 
Monsieur, put on your hat, I beg. 

Oronte. 
Tell me, monsieur, what you wish to know. 

Sbbigani. 
Not a word more can I say, monsieur, until 
you put your hat upon your head. 

Okonte. 
So be it. Now, monsieur, what have you to 

ask me 1 

Sbbigani. 

Do you know in this town a certain Monsieur 

Oronte V 

Oeonte. 

Yes, I know him. 

Sbbigani. 

What sort of man is he, if you please, 
monsieur 1 

Oronte. 

A man like any other. 

Sbrigani. 
Can you tell me, monsieur, if he is rich, and 
has property 1 

Obonte. 
Yes. 



282 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act II 

Sbeigani. 
Very rich, monsieur? 

Obonte. 

Yes. 

Sbrigani. 

I am glad of that. 

Okonte. 

Why so? 

Sbrigani. 

For a little reason of some consequence to us, 

monsieur. 

Okonte. 

But why, I ask you. 

Sbrigani. 

Because, monsieur, we are told this Monsieur 
Oronte gives his daughter in marriage to a cer- 
tain Monsieur de Pourceaugnac — 

Obonte. 

Well? 

Sbrigani. 

And this Monsieur de Pourceaugnac is a man 
who owes large sums of money to several Flem- 
ish merchants who come to Paris, like me. 
Oronte. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac owes money to 
several Flemish merchants? 



ScBMB nij M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 283 

Sbrigani. 

Yes, monsieur; and for the last eight months 

we have had a little writ against him; but he 

puts off paying us until this marriage, when 

Monsieur Oronte will give something to his 

daughter. 

Oronte. 

Hum ! hum ! puts off his creditors for that, 

does he 1 

Sbrigani. 

Yes, monsieur ; and therefore we are hoping 

for this marriage fervently. 

Oronte, aside. 
The warning is not amiss. (Aloud) I bid 

you good-day. 

Sbrigani. 

I thank you, monsieur, for this great 

favor — 

Oronte. 

Your most obedient. 

Sbrigani. 

I am greatly obliged for the good news you 
have given me. (Alone, after taking off his 
heard and Flemish coat which he had put on 
over his oivn) Tliat 's not a bad beginning! 
Away with these. Flemish feathers, and let me 



284 



M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act n 



think of our other machinations. I '11 sow sus- 
picions now to set the son-in-law against the 
marriage ; they are both such fools they '11 swal- 
low any fly we bait them with. To first-class 
rogues like us 't is mere child's-play when we 
find the game as easy to bag as this. 



SCENE FOURTH 

MONSIBCE DB PonRCEAUGNAC, SbEIGANI 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, thinking him- 
self alone. 

Piglialo sii, piglialo su, signor monsu. What 
the devil does that mean? (^Sees Sbrigani.) 
Ha! hi! 

Sbrigani. 

What is it, monsieur ? is anything the matter 1 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
I mistook ; I see injections everywhere. 

Sbrigani. 

Whatt 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Ah! you don't know what happened in that 
house after you left me. 



ScENB IV] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 285 

Sbrigani. 
No, indeed ; what was it ? 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
I expected to be regaled as a visitor should 

be. 

Sbrigani. 

Yes. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Leave you in the hands of monsieur. Doc- 
tors, dressed in black ! Felt my pulse. He 's 
mad. Two fat cheeks. Big hats. Buon di, 
buon di! Six clowns. Ta, ra, ta, ta; ta, ra, 
ta, ta. AUegrameute, Monsu Pourceaugnac. 
Apothecary. Injections. Take it, monsieur, 
take it, take it. It is healing, monsieur, heal- 
ing. 'T is to cleanse, cleanse, cleanse. Never, 
in all my days, was I so glutted with folly ! 

Sbrigani. 
What does all this mean 1 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
It means that that man, with his fine embrac- 
ings, is a rogue, who put me in that house to 
play a prank upon me and make game of me. 

S:i^RIGANI. 

Dear ! dear ! how deceitful faces are. I 
thought him the most affectionate of friends. It 



286 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act II 

is one of my amazements how rogues like that 
should be in this world. 

Monsieur de Pourcbaugnac. 
Don't I smell of their injections 1 Just see, 
if you please. 

Sbrigani. 
I do perceive a little something that seems 
like it. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnao. 
My nose and my imagination are full of it. I 
fancy I see a dozen syringes taking aim at me. 

Sbrigani. 

It was an outrage; men are traitors and 
scoundrels indeed! 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnao. 
Show me the way, I beg you, to the house of 
Monsieur Oronte. I shall be thankful to go 
there at once. 

Sbrigani. 
Ha, ha ! I see you have an amorous dispo- 
sition; you must have heard that Monsieur 
Oronte has a daughter. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnao. 
Yes, I am here to espouse her. 



ScBNB IV] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 287 

Sbbigani. 
To — es — pouse her 1 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnao. 

Yes. 

Sbkigani. 

In marriage ? 

MONSIEUK DE POUKCEAUQNAC. 

How else, I 'd like to know 1 

Sbeigani. 
Ah ! that 's another thing, aud I beg your 
pardon heartily. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 

Why so 1 What does this mean 1 

Sbeigani. 
Oh, nothing. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
It must mean something. 

Sbrigani. 
Nothing, I tell you. I spoke too quick. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
I beg you to tell me at once what is under all 

this. 

Sbrigani. 

No, it is not necessary. 



288 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act II 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 

I entreat — 

Sbrigani. 

No, no ; I ask you to excuse me. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Are you not friendly to me 1 

Sbrigani. 
Indeed I am; no one could be more so. 
Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Then you ought to hide nothing from me. 

Sbrigani. 
It is something that may injure my neighbor. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
To induce you to open your mind, here is a 
little ring which I ask you to keep for love 

of me. 

Sbrigani. 

Let me reflect a moment on what I ought' to 
do. {Turns slightly aside, apparently in 
thought, and speaks as if to himself.) Mon- 
sieur Oronte is certainly a man who seeks his 
own benefit, and who wants to provide for his 
daughter as advantageously as he can, no matter 
if it injures others. These are things tliat 
everybody knows; but I am asked to tell them 



Scene IV] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 289 

to a stranger who does not know them, and we 
are forbidden to slander our neighbor. Yes, 
all that 's true ; but, on the other hand, here ia 
a stranger whom they are trying to impose 
upon ; and who, in good faith, has come here to 
marry a girl he does not know and has never 
seen, — a frank and honest gentleman, for whom 
I feel an inclination, who does me the honor to 
consider me his friend, who places confidence in 
me, and gives me a ring to keep for his sake. 
(Turns back and addresses Monsieur de Pour- 
ceaugnac.) Yes, monsieur, I think I can tell 
you without hurting my conscience ; but I shall 
strive to tell it as gently as possible. To say 
that the girl in question leads a depraved life 
would be rather too strong ; in order to explain 
myself I must seek milder terms. Still, the 
word " gallantry " is hardly enough. " Coquette," 
a finished coquette, seems appropriate to my pur- 
pose, and I therefore use it to tell you honestly 
what she is. 

Monsieur de Pourcbaugnac. 
They meant to dupe me ! 

Sbrigani. 
Possibly, at bottom, there is not so much 
harm in her as people say. Besides, some men 

VOL. V. — 19 



290 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act II 

hold themselves superior to such things and do 
not think their honor depends on what their 
wife may be. 

MORSIEUK DE POUBCEAUGNAC. 

I beg your pardon; I, at least, shall never 
put a hat of that kind on my head. We choose 
to carry our heads high in the Pourceaugnao 
family. 

Sbrigani. 

Here comes Monsieur Oronte. 

Monsieur de Poukceaugnac. 
What, that old man t 

Sbbigani. 
Yes. I retire. 



SCENE FIFTH 

ObONTE, MONSIEnK DB POCECEAUONAO 

Monsieur de Poubceaugnao. 
Good day, monsieur, good-day. 

Oronte. 
Your servant, monsieur, your servant. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnao. 
You are Monsieur Oronte, are you not? 



SoBNE Vj M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 291 

Oronte. 

Yes. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
And I am Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 

Oronte. 

Ah ! very good. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Do you think, Monsieur Oronte, that all men 
from Limoges are fools? 

Oronte. 
Do you think, Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, 
that Parisians are dolts ? 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Do you imagine, Monsieur Oronte, that a man 
like me is eager for a wife 1 

Oronte. 
Do you suppose, Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, 
that a girl like my daughter is eager for a 
husband 1 



292 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act TL 

SCENE SIXTH 
Julie, Oronte, Monsibdk db Poukceaugnao 

Julie. 

They have just told me, father, that Monsieur 
de Pourceaugnac has arrived — Ah ! here he 
is, no doubt; my heart informs me. How well- 
made he is! what style! how happy I shall be 
with such a husband ! Will you permit me to 
embrace him and so testify — 

Oronte. 
Gently, my daughter, gently. 

MoNSiEUK DE PouECEAUGNAC, aside. 

Tudieu / wh^t freedom ! Ha ! she has taken 
fire at once. 

Oronte. 

I wish to know, Monsieur de Pourceaugnac 
why you venture to come — 

Julie, approaching M. de Pourceaugnac, looks 
at him in a languishing manner and tries 
to take his hand. 

How glad I am to see you. I am most 
impatient to — 



ScBNi! Vl] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 293 

Oronte. 

My daughter, go away directly, I tell you. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, aside. 

Ho, ho ! the bold wench ! 

Oronte. 

I should like to know , I say, for what reason, 

if you please, you have had the hardihood to — 

Julie continues the same play. 
Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, aside. 
Virtue of my life ! 

Oronte, to Julie. 
Again ! What do you mean by such be- 
havior t 

Julie. 

Do you not wish me to caress the husband 
you have chosen for me ? 

Oronte. 

No ; return to your room. 

Julie. 

May I not look at him ? 

Oronte. 
Go in, I say. 

Julie. 

But if you please, I 'd rather stay. 



294 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act II 

Oronte. 

I do not choose that you shall do so ; if you 
do not go at once, I '11 — 

Julie. 
Well, then, I '11 go. 

Obonte, to M. de Pourceaugnac. 
My daughter is a silly girl who does not 
know the world. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, aside. 
I seem to please her. 

Okonte, to Julie, who still lingers after 
making a few steps away. 

Do you not mean to go ? 

Julie. 
When do you mean to marry me to monsieur 1 

Oronte. 
Never ; you are not for him. 

Julie. 
But I wish to have him; you promised me I 
should. 

Oronte. 

Well, if I promised it, I now unpromise it. 



Scene VII] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 295 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, aside. 
She wishes to hold on to me ! 

Julie. 

You can say what you like, but we shall 
marry certainly, in spite of all the world. 

Obonte. 

I shall prevent you both from doing so ; you 
may be sure of that — Heavens ! what vertigo 
has seized her? 



SCENE SEVENTH 
Oeonte, Monsieur de PonRCBAUGifAO 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Ha ! my intended father-in-law, do not excite 
yourself in that way. I have no desire to carry 
off your daughter, and your grimaces and pre- 
tences can't take me in. 

Oronte. 

Yours will not serve your purpose. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 

Have you taken into your head that Leonard de 
Pourceaugnac is a man to buy a pig in a poke ? 



296 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act H 

Do you suppose he has not enough judgment to 
behave sensibly and inquire from others whether, 
in marrying, his honor has security ? 

Okonte. 
I don't know what that means. But how 
came you to take into your head that a father 
who is sixty-three years old can have so weak a 
brain and think so little of his daughter as to 
marry her to a man who has — you know what 1 
a man who was placed in a doctor's house to be 
cured of it. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
That was only a trick they played upon me. 
I have no malady at all. 

Oronte. 

But the doctor himself tells me you have. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Then the doctor lied. I am a gentleman of 
rank, and I '11 maintain my credit sword in hand. 

Oronte. 
I know very well what to believe of that. 
You can't deceive me about it, any more than 
about the debts you have pledged yourself to 
pay after marrying my daughter. 



Scene VIII] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 297 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnao. 

What debts? 

Obonte. 

Your pretended ignorance is useless. I have 
seen the Flemish merchant who, with other 
creditors, obtained a judgment against you over 
eight months ago. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnao. 
What Flemish merchant? What creditors? 
What judgment obtained against me? 

Oeonte. 
You know very well what I mean. 



SCENE EIGHTH 

MONSIBUR DE POURCEAUGNAC, OrONTE, LuCBTTE 

LucETTB, imitating the accent of a Languedo- 
cian, and addressing M. de Pourceaugnao. 

Ha ! you are here ! At last, after hunting 
everywhere, hither and tliither, I have found 
you. How can you, villain, how can you bear 
to face me? 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnao. 
What does the woman mean ? 



298 M. DE POUECEAUGNAC [Act n 

LUCETTE. 

What do I mean, you wretch ! Do you dare 
pretend you do not know me? Do you not 
blush, infamous man, blush, I say, to see met 
{To Oronte) I don't know if it is you, mon- 
sieur, whose daughter he wants to marry, but 
I tell you I 'm his wife. It is now seven years 
since, passing through Pezenas, he had the art 
by his cajolings, which he well knows how to 
use, to win my heart and so oblige me, by that 
means, to marry him. 

Obonte. 
Oh, oh ! 

Monsieur db Poueceaugnac. 
What the devil is all this 1 

LtJCETTE. 

After three years of married life the traitor 
left me on pretence that business called him 
home ; and since that time I never heard one 
word of him till lately, when news was brought 
me that he was coming up to Paris to marry an- 
other girl, whose parents, knowing nothing of 
his marriage with me, had promised her to him. 
So, instantly I left my home and have hurried 
here as quickly as I could, in order to prevent 



Scene VIII] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 299 

this criminal marriage, and to confound that 
worthless man before the eyes of every one. 

Monsieur de Poueceaugnac. 
The brazen creature ! 

LuCETTE. 

Insolent man ! are you not ashamed to abuse 
me when you ought to be humbled and con- 
founded by the reproaches of your conscience 1 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
I, — I, your husband 1 

LuCETTE. 

Wretch, do you dare deny it? Ah! you 
know well, alas, to my sorrow ! that what I say 
is true. Would to Heaven it were not ! If you 
had left me to the innocence and peace in which 
I lived before your charms and flatteries led me 
unhappily astray, I should not now be the sad 
being that I am, — a woman who sees a cruel 
husband despise the ardor she has felt for him, 
and show no pity for the mortal grief his treach- 
erous actions cause her. 

Oronte. 

I can scarce prevent myself from weeping. 
(To M. de Pourceaugnac) You are a bad, a 
wicked man. 



300 M. DE POURCEAITGNAC [Act U 

MONSIEUK DE POURCEAUGNAC, 

I don't know anything about all this. 



SCENE NINTH 

Nbbinb, Lucette, Monsieur de FonEOEAUOHAC, 
Oronte 

N^RiNE, counterfeiting a tooman from 
Picardy. 
I can't go farther; I am all tired out. Ha! 
you swaggerer, what a dance you 've led me ! 
But you can't escape me now. Justice, I claim 
justice ! I '11 hinder this wicked marriage. 
{To Oronte) This is my husband, monsieur; 
and I want to have him hanged, the gallows bird ! 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 

Another ! 

Oronte. 

What devil of a man is this ? 

Lucette, to Nerine. 

What 's that you say of hindering and hang- 
ing? You have no call to talk in that way; 
he 's not your husband. 

NlORINE. 

Madame, I am liis wife. 



Ne'rINE. Madame, I am his wife. 

MONSIKUR DE POUR' ' ■'"■ ' *-<', Act 11., Sc. a. 

'OL. v., Pagr 300 



ScBNB IX] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 301 

LUCETTE. 

That 's false ; I am his wife, and if he is 
hanged, 't is I who ought to hang him. 

N:fiBINE. 

1 do not understand this woman's jargon. 

LnCETTE. 

I tell you I 'm his wife. 

NlERINE. 

His wife J 

LuCETTE. 

Yes. 

NiBINE. 

No! I, I, I — once more I say it, 'tis I 
who am his wife. 

LuCETTE. 

I tell you, it is I. 

N^RINE. 

Four years ago he married me. 

LuCETTE. 

Seven years ago he made me his wedded wife. 

NiRINE. 

I can bring witnesses to prove my words. 

LuCETTE. 

My neighbors know it. 



302 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act II 

N£rine. 
My town can swear to it. 

Ltjcette. 
All Pdz^nas was at our marriage. 

NilKINE. 

All Saint-Quentin was invited to the wedding. 

LUCETTE. 

'T is true as gospel. 

Nekine. 
Nothing can be more certain. 

LucETTE, to Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Dare you say to the contrary, you villain? 

' N£eine, to Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Will you give nje the lie, you wicked man? 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
The one is as true as the other. 

LucETTE. 
What audacity! Miserable man, have you 
forgotten little rran(2oise and poor Jean, the 
fruits of our marriage! 



Scene X] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 303 

Nerine. 
Heavens! what insolence! Don't you re- 
member that poor baby, my little Madeleine, 
whom you left me as a pledge of your love 1 

Monsieur de Poueceaugnac. 
Two impudent sluts ! 

LucETTE, calling outside. 
Here, Fran^oise, here, Jean ! come both of you 
and show your unnatural father what a brute 

he is. 

N^BIKE, calling outside. 

Come Madeleine, my child, come here, and 

shame your father for his heartlessness. 



SCENE TENTH 

Monsieur de Pouhceaugnac, Oronte, Lucbtte, 
ni;rine, and several children 

The Children. 
Ah, papa ! papa ! papa ! 

Monsieur de Poueceaugnac. 
The devil take those brats of strumpets ! 

Lucette. 
Traitor ! are you not ashamed to receive your 
children thus and shut your eyes to filial love I 



304 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act H 

Ha! you shall not escape me; I'll follow you 
where'er you go, and charge you with your 
crime till I 'm avenged and you are hanged ! 
Yes, you villain ! I '11 have you hanged ! 

Nl^EINB. 

Do you not blush to say such words of me, 
and to care nothing for the smiles of this poor 
infant? You can't escape my claims. In spite 
of your denials, I '11 let the world know I 'm 
your wife, and you shall hang for this. 

The Children. 
Oh, papa ! papa ! papa ! 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Help ! help ! Wliere can I fly 1 Oh, I can 
bear no more ! 

Oronte. 

Yes, you are right to punish him ; and I say, 
too, he ought to be hanged. 



SCENE ELEVENTH 
Sbrigani, alone. 
I keep an eye on all our plots and marshal 
them. They are doing well; we shall sonn tiro 
out our country fool, and, faith ! he '11 skip. 



ScENB XII] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 305 
SCENE TWELFTH 

MONSIEHK DE PotlKOEAUGNAC, SbKIGANI 

Monsieur de Poukceaugnac. 
All ! I 'm done for, cruslied ! What trouble! 
What a town ! Attacked from all directions I 

Sbeigani. 

What is it, monsieur? Have worse things 
happened ? 

MONSIEUK DE POUECEAUGNAC. 

Yes; it rains women and injections too. 

Sbrigani. 
How so ? 

Monsieur de Poueceaugnac. 
Two wanton jades accuse me of having mar- 
ried both of them, and threaten me with the 

law. 

Sbeigani. 

Ah ! that 's bad indeed ; for the law in these 
parts is so devilish rigorous against those special 
crimes. 

Monsieur de Poueceaugnac. 

Yes; but suppose they get indictment, sum- 
mons, writ, and judgment by default and con- 
tumacy, I have still the " conflict of jurisdiction " 

VOL. V. — 20 



306 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act II 

by which to gain delay and give me time to show 
the flaws in their procedure. 

Sbrigani. 

You talk in legal terms ; 't is plain, my friend, 
you are of that profession. 

Monsieur de Poueceaugnac. 
I ? not at all. I am a nobleman. 

Sbeigani. 
But in order to speak in such a way you must 
have studied law. 

Monsieur db Pourceaugkac. 
Never. 'T is only common-sense that tells me 
I shall be allowed to show my justifying facts; 
no man can be condemned on a simple accusa- 
tion, without examination or confronting with 

accusers. 

Sbrigani. 

Ha ! shrewder still ! 

Monsieur de Poueceaugnac. 
Those words have come into my mind without 
my having legal knowledge. 

Sbrigani, 
A noble's common-sense may tell him, if you 
please, the aim of law, but it will never teach 
hiin legal jargon. 



ScBNB XII] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 307 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Those are terms I have picked up in reading 
novels. 

Sbeigani. 
Ha, ha ! that 's good. 

Monsieur, de Pourceaugnao. 
And to show you that I know nothing about 
the law, I request you to take me to a lawyer, in 
order to consult him on this affair. 

Sbrigani. 
Willingly ; and I '11 take you at once to two 
most able men. But, first, I must warn you not 
to be surprised by their manner of talking. 
They have acquired at the bar a certain habit of 
declamation, so that now they chant what they 
have to say. I tell you this, else you might 
take for music what they tell you. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnao. 
What does it matter how they say it, pro- 
vided they tell me what I want to know 1 



308 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act II 



SCENE THIKTEENTH 

Monsieur db Podeceadgnac, Sbrigani, two Bae- 
itiSTEES, TWO Attorneys, two Sergeants 

First Barristeb, dragging his words as he 
sings. 

Po — ly — ga — my 
Is — cri — ime, a hang — ing. 
Hang — ing cri — ime. 

Second Barrister, singing fast and high. 

Yo\ir case is fixed 

As clear as day; 

The law says plain, 

Upon that crime, 
It is a hanging matter. 
If you consult our legal authors, 
Legislators and glossators, 
Justinian, Papinian, 
Ulpian and Tribonian, 
Fernand, Rebuffe, Jean Imole, 
Paul, Castio, Julian, Barthole, 
Jason, Alcias, and Cujas, 
(That great wise man) 
Polygamy and bigamy 

Are hanging crimes. 

Entrance of the Ballet 

Dance of the two Attorneys and tie two Sergeants 
while the Second Barrister sings as follows : — 



ScenbXIII] m. de pourceaugnac 309 

Second Baeeistee, singing. 

All civilized Peoples 
Of decent sense 

French, English, Dutch, 

Danish, Swedish, Polish, 
Portuguese, Spaniards, Flemings, 

Italians, Germans, 
On this subject have the same law; 
The case is one we don't discuss ; 

Bigamy, Polygamy, 

Are hanging matters. 

First Baeeistee, singing. 

Big — a — my, Po— ly — ga — my 
Are hang — ing mat — ters. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac frantically drives 
them off. 



END OF SECOND ACT. 



310 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act III 

act Elfixt) 
SCENE FIRST 

^i^BASTE, SBRIOAm 

Sbrigani. 
Yes, things are going the way we wish; and 
as his intellects are mighty small, and his sense 
the most limited in all the world, I have put 
into his mind so great a scare at the severity of 
the law and the arrangements already making for 
his death that he is now determined to escape. 
To conceal himself the better from the police, 
who, I have told him, are watching for him at 
the gates, he has resolved to disguise himself; 
and the disguise he has chosen is a woman's 
clothes ! 

i^BASTE. 

I 'd like to see him in that rig ! 
Sbeigani, 

You 'd better be thinking of your part and 
how to end the comedy. While I am playing 
my scenes with him, do you be oif and — ( WhiS' 
pers in Eraste's eai:) Do you understand? 

;6raste. 

Yes, yes. 



Scene II] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 311 

Sbeigani. 
And when I have put him where I wish — 
(Whispers again.) 

:6raste. 

Good, very good. 

Sbeigani. 

And after I have warned the father — ( WTiis- 

pers again.) 

Erastb. 

Capital ; nothing could be better. 

Sbeigani. 
Here comes our damsel — ' Quick, be ofiF! 
don't let him see you with me. 



SCENE SECOND 

Monsieur de Poubcbaugnac, disguised as a woman, 
Sbeigani 

Sbeigani. 
Por my part, I do not think that any one 
will recognize you in those clothes; you have 
all the air of a woman of quality. ' 

Monsieur de Poueceaugnac. 

What surprises me is that in this town the 
forms of law are not observed. 



312 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act III 

Sbbigani. 
Yes, just as I told you ; they begin by hang- 
ing a man and they try him afterwards. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
But I call that unlawful law. 

Sbrigaui. 
It is cruel as all the devils; particularly on 
crimes like yours. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
But I am innocent. 

Sbbigani. 
That makes no difference ; they don't trouble 
themselves about that. Besides, they have a 
deadly hatred in this town for the men from 
yours ; they will be only too delighted to hang 
a Limousin. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
What harm have the Limoges people done 

them? 

Sbrigani. 

These Parisians are brutes, enemies to the 

courtesy and merit of other towns. As for me, 

I own that I am horribly alarmed about you ; I 

should never console myself if you happened to 

be hanged. 



Scene II] M. DE POUKCEAUGNAC 313 

MOXSIEUR DE POUBCEAUGNAC. 

It is not SO much the fear of death that makes 
ine fly as the disgrace to a noble of being hanged. 
Such an example would cast a slur upon our 
titles of nobility. 

Sbeigani. 
You are right ; they would even deny you the 
title of esquire. Now then, study your part; 
endeavor, when I lead you by the hand, to walk 
like a woman and assume the language and 
manners of a woman of quality. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 

You can trust me for that ; I have often seen 

persons of style. The only trouble is I have a 

beard. 

Sbrigani. 

Oh, the beard is nothing ; some women have 
more than you. Now begin, and let me see 
how you do it. (Monsieur de Pourceaugnac 
imitates a lady of qucdity.) Good! 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Come ! my carriage ! Where 's my carriage ? 
Heavens ! how miserable it is to have such ser- 
vants! Am I to wait all day upon the pave- 
ment 1 Will no one call my carriage 1 



314 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act III 

Sbrigani. 
Very good indeed ! 

Monsieur de Poueceaugkac. 
Hola ! ho ! coachman ! little page ! Ha ! 
the rascal ! how I '11 whip him when I get home 
— page ! little page ! Where 's my little page 1 
Can't he be found? Won't somebody bring me 
my little page 1 Have n't I any little page in 
all the world] 

Sbrigani. 
That is admirable. But I notice one thing: 
your coif is rather open ; it exposes you too 
much. I '11 get you something closer to hide 
your face, in case of a luckless meeting — 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
A meeting ! what would become of me ! 

Sbrigani. 
Wait for me here ; I '11 be with you in a 
moment. Walk up and down while waiting. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac takes several 
turns across the stage endeavoring to imitate 
a woman of quality. 



Scene III] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 315 

SCENE THIRD 

MONSIEUB DB POUBCEACGNAC, TWO PoBTBBS 

FiKST PoETER, nof Seeing M. de Pour- 
ceaugnac. 
Come, let us hurry, comrade ; we must be off 
to the Greve if we want to see the execution of 
Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, who has been con- 
demned by an ordinance to be hanged by the 
neck. 

Second Pobtee, not seeing M. de Pour- 
ceaugnac. 
We had better hire a window. 
First Porter. 
I hear that they have erected the fine new 
gallows to string up this Pourceaugnac. 

Second Porter. 
'T is a great pleasure, i' faith, to see a Limousin 
hanged. 

First Porter. 

Yes, yes ; I '11 like to see him kick his heels 
in the air before all the town. 

Second Porter. 
He 's a pretty fellow ! They tell me he has 
been married three times. 



316 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act UI 

First Porter. 
The devil ! why does he want three women to 
himself t One is enough. 

Second Porter, seeing M. de Pourceaugnac. 
Ah ! good-day to you, mamseUe. 

First Porter. 
What are you doing here alone, mamselle 1 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
I am waiting for my servants, messieurs. 

Second Porter. 
She 's handsome, i' faith ! 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Gently, gently, monsieur. 

First Porter. 
Won't you come for a jaunt with us, mam- 
selle ? We '11 show you a pretty little hanging, I 
promise you. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
No, I thank you. 

Second Porter. 
A nobleman from Limoges; and they are 
going to hang him prettily on the fine new 
gallows. 



ScBNB III] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 317 

Monsieur de Poukceaugnac. 
I have no curiosity. 

First Porter. 
Hey ! you are a mighty pretty wench to be 
alone in the streets — 

Monsieur de Pourceauqitac. 
Gently, I tell you. 

First Porter. 
Faith, I 'd like to have you in my arms — 
so, come along ! 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Ha ! this is intolerable ! Such insults can't 
be offered to a woman of my quality. 

Second Porter. 
Let her alone, you ! she is mine for a pistole. 

First Porter. 
No, I shall not let go of her. 

Second Porter. 
Yes, you will, I want her. 
The two Porters draff at M. de Pourceau- 
gnac violently. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Help! help! help! 



318 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act III 

SCENE FOURTH 

monsibub de poukceaugnac, two p0etes8, a 
Police officek, two Aechees 

Police officer. 
What does this mean t What violence is this ? 
What are you doing to madame 1 Come, out of 
this place, unless you wish to be put in prison. 

First Porter, to Second Porter. 
Be off, for you can't have her. 

Second Porter. 
Be off yourself, for you can't have her either. 



SCENE FIFTH 

MONSIBUE DB PotlECEAUGNAC, THE POLICB OFFIOBB, 

TWO Aechees 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
I am truly obliged to you, monsieur, for hav- 
ing delivered me from those insolent men. 

Police officer. 
Hey ! here 's a face that 's mighty like the 
one described to me. 



Scene V] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 319 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
It is not I, monsieur, I do assure you. 

Police officer. 
Ho I ho ! what may that mean ? 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
I don't know. 

Police officer. 
Why did you say that 1 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Oh! for nothing. 

Police officer. 

Such talk means something, and I take you 
into custody. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Oh, monsieur, don't ; I beg of you. 

Police officer. 
Yes; by your looks and by your words I 
think you are that Monsieur de Pourceaugnac in 
woman's clothes for whom we are searching; 
you '11 come to prison at once. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. 
Ah, me ! 



320 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act in 

SCENE SIXTH 

Monsieur db Poueceacgnac, Sbkigani, the Po- 
lice OFFICER, TWO AhCHEES 

Sbkigani, to M. de Pourceaugnac. 
Oh, heavens ! and what does all this mean ? 

Monsieur db Pourceaugnac. 
They have discovered me. 

Police officer. 
Yes, yes ; and I am glad of it. 

Sbrigani, to Police officer. 
Ah, monsieur, for love of me! you know 
what friends we have been so long ! I conjure 
you not to take him to prison. 

Police officer. 
No ; impossible for me to listen to — 

Sbrigani. 

But you are so accommodating ! is there no 
way of settling this with a few pistoles J 

Police officer, to his archers. 
Withdraw to a little distance. 



ScBHE VII] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 321 

SCENE SEATENTH 

MONSIECB DB PonECEAUGNAC, SbBIOANI, PoLICB 
OFFICER 

Sbrigani, to Monsieur de Pourceaugnac 
You must give him money to let you go. 
Quick, quick ! 

MoNSiEUE DE Pourceaugnac, giving money 
to Sbrigani. 
Ah, cursed town ! 

Sbrigani, giving the money to Police officer. 
Here, monsieur. 

Police officer. 
How much ? 

Sbrigani, counting it. 
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, 
nine, ten. 

Police officer. 
No, my orders are too strict. 

Sbrigani, to Police officer, who turns to call 
his archers. 
Oh, heavens ! wait, wait ! (To Monsieur de 
Pourceaugnac') Make haste and give him 
more. 

VOL. V. — 21 



322 M. DE POUECEAUGNAC [Act HI 

Monsieur de Poubceaugnac. 
But — 

Sbrigani. 
Make liaste, I say; don't lose a moment; 
there 's no great pleasure in being hanged. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, giving more 
money to Sbrigani. 
Ah! 

Sbrigani, to Police officer. 
Here, monsieur. 

Police officer, to Sbrigani. 
I shall be forced to fly myself ; there '11 be no 
safety for me here. Let me guide him out of 
the town, and do not stir yourself. 

Sbrigani. 

In that case I entreat you to take the greatest 
care of him. 

Police officer. 

I promise you not to leave him until I have 
put him in a place of safety. 

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, to Sbrigani. 

Farewell ; you are the only honest man I have 
found in this town. 



Scene VIII] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 323 

Sbrigani. 

Don't lose time. I like you so much I wish 
you were already leagues away. Heaven guide 
your steps! (Alone) Upon my word! a dupe 
indeed ! But here comes — 



SCENE EIGHTH 
Oronte, Sbkigani 

Sbbigani, pretending not to see Oronte. 
Ha, what a strange adventure ! What painful 
news for a father ! Poor Oronte ! how I pity 
him. What will he say? How can he bear 
this mortal sorrow? 

Oronte. 
What is it 1 What sorrow are you foretelling 
me? 

Sbrigani. 

Ah! monsieur, that deceitful Limousin, that 
traitor of a Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, has ab- 
ducted your daughter. 

Oronte. 
A.bJucted my daughter? 



324 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act Ul 

Sbkigani. 
Yes ; she became so crazy about him that she 
leaves her home and father to follow him. They 
tell me he 's a man of a nature to make the 
women love him. 

Oronte. 
Quick, quick to justice ! Send archers after 
them. 



SCENE NINTH 

Oronte, :£)raste, Jdlib, Sbrioani 

Ekaste, to Julie. 

No, you must come, in spite of what you 

wish; I intend to place you in your father's 

hands. Here, monsieur, is your daughter, whom 

I have dragged by force from the man with 

whom she was eloping. I did so, not from love 

of her, but for your sake only ; after this act on 

her part I ought rather to despise her and cure 

myself forever of the love I bore her. 

Oronte. 

Ah ! wretched girl that you are. 

i^RASTE, to Julie. 
How could you treat me thus after all the 
proofs of fcieudsliip I have given youl I do 



Scene IX] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 325 

not blame you for submitting to your father's 
will, for he is wise and most judicious in all he 
does. Never shall I complain of hmi for dis- 
carding me in favor of another man. If he 
broke his word, he had good reason for it : they 
made him think that other was richer than I by 
four or five thousand crowns; and four or five 
thousand crowns is a sum for which it is worth 
while a man should break his word. But for 
you to forget, in a moment, all the ardor I have 
shown you, to flame with love at once for the 
first new-comer, to follow him shamefully with- 
out your father's leave, — a man to whom such 
crimes have been imputed ! Behavior such as 
that is blamed by every one; my heart cannot 
reproach you too severely. 

Julie. 
Well, yes! I have conceived a love for 
Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, which made me 
follow him because my father chose him for my 
husband. Whatever you may please to say, he 
is a worthy man, and all the crimes they put 
upon him are monstrous falsehoods. 

Oronte. 
Be silent ! you are insolent ; and I know bet- 
ter than you the truth of this affair. 



326 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act IH 

Julie. 
'Tis all a trick they played upon him, and 
(pointing to j^raste) perhaps 't was he who 
planned this artful means to disgust you with him. 

:6baste. 
1 1 could I be capable of that ? 

Julie. 
Yes, you. 

Oeonte. 

Hold your tongue, I tell you ; you are a silly 

fool. 

;6raste. 

No; do not imagine I have any wish to hin- 
der this marriage; or that my former passion 
made me pursue you. As I said before, it was 
the deep respect I feel for your father; I 
could not endure that an honest man like him 
should be exposed to all the shame of scandals 
that attend an act like yours. 

Oronte. 
Seigneur Eraste, I am much beholden to you. 

i^RASTE. 

Farewell, monsieur. Formerly I had all the 
desire in the world to enter your alliance; I did 
my best to obtain that honor, and I have been 



Scene IX] M. DE POUBCEAUGNAC 327 

unfortunate; you have not judged me worthy of 
your favor. But that will not hinder me from 
retaining the sentiments of esteem and venera- 
tion which I feel for your character, and though 
I am not able to become your son-in-law, I must, 
at least, remain eternally your servitor. 

Obontb. 

Stay, Seigneur lllraste, stay ! Your conduct 
has touched me to the soul, and I hereby give 
you my daughter in marriage. 

Julie. 

I will not have any husband but Monsieur de 
Pourceaugnac. 

Obonte. 

And I will — I — that you shall marry Sei- 
gneur Eraste. Here, give your hand. 

Julie. 
No, I will not. 

Oronte. 
I '11 box your ears. 

i^BASTB. 

No, monsieur, no, I beg of you; do her no 
violence. 



328 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act III 

Oeonte. 
'T is her duty to obey me. I shall show my- 
self the master of her conduct. 

;6easte. 
But you see the love she feels for that other 
man ; you surely would not have me possess her 
person while another has her heart t 

Oronte. 
It is a spell which he has cast upon her. You 
will see her change her mind erelong. Come, 
give me your hand. 

JUME, 

No; I — 

Oronte. 
Hey, what a fuss! Here, your hand, I say. 
Oh, oh ! 

i^RASTE. 

Do not suppose it is for love of you I take 
your hand; it is your father whom I admire 
and wed. 

Oronte. 

I am greatly obliged to you; and I increase 
my daughter's marriage portion by ten thousand 
crowns. I will send for a notary to draw up 
the contract. 



ScBNB X] M. DE POURCEAUGNAC 329 j 

;6baste. ] 

1 

And while we await him, let us enjoy the ) 
amusement of the season, and call in those 

masks who, from all quarters of the town, are ■ 

flocking hither to attend the wedding of Mon- : 

8IEUK DE POUBCEAUGNAC. j 

SCENE TENTH ! 
A Troupe of Masks, dancing and singing. 
A Mask, dressed as a gypsy-woman. 

Away ! away ! away ! ; 

Sadness and grief and care ! j 

Come hither, pleasures gay, 1 

Love, smiles, and all things fair, ; 
Laughter and gamesome air I 

For pleasure rules the day ! ; 

Chorus of Masks, singing. i 

We '11 all be gay, be gay, •■ 

For pleasure rules the day I j 

The Gypsy-woman. \ 

Follow, each and all; ' 

On with ardor press ; ■; 
Lovers' hopes and fears 

All your hearts oppress : ; 

But if your love holds fast '. 

Yom- happiness wiU last. ; 



330 M. DE POURCEAUGNAC [Act III 

A Gypsy-man. 

Love shall endure till death. 

Our reason wills it so ; 
Without Love's vital breath 

What were this life below ? 

The Gypsy-woman. 

Our life we 'd gladly give 
For love — by which we live. 

The Gtpsy-man. 
For riches, 

The Gypsy-woman. 
Grandeur, 

The Gypsy-man. 

Power, 
The envied pomp of kings. 

The Gypsy-woman. 

Without Love's crowning flower, 
Are but the least of things. 

Both togethee. 

If love and faith hold fast. 
Then happiness shall last. 



Scene X] M. DE I'OURCEAUGNAC 331 

Chokus op Masks. 

Sing I siug ! slug all together I 

Merrily dance and play ; 
Here when we meet tor wedding joy 
The wisest those who gayly toy 

With folly by the way. 

All Together. 

Then let us all be gay, be gay, 
The gi'eat affair of life is Joy. 



IDTD OF MONSIEUR DE POUECEAUGNAO 




I 



Moliere, Jean Baptiste 
The plays of Molie're 



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1825 
.E5 
W67 
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